Update Part I: A Quick Summary of Last Semester

Photo by  Zoltan Tasi  on  Unsplash

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

So, it’s been a while since I’ve updated you all on my life. There are a lot of reasons for that, so here is my very brief and not-too-positive explanation of like late November through May:

Life update: Towards the end of the fall semester, I was called into the department office because a parent had complained about the number of classes I had cancelled. While it was absolutely ILLEGAL for my supervisors to even read an email from a student’s parent, I got chewed out, was told they weren’t getting their money’s worth out of me, etc. I reminded them that I have a serious chronic illness, for which I have ODA accommodation. I was told that our department did not accommodate disabilities other than pregnancy. For those of you who know anything at all about the ADA, you know that was a lawsuit waiting to happen. I then spent the next like four months dealing with HR and my chair and a constant feeling of doom hanging over me because I was afraid of being fired for something over which I have no control. The fact that almost every close friend and mentor I had was encouraging me to sue my department didn’t help my mindset at all.

To make matters worse, at the end of February, I started feeling like my medication wasn’t working. I was constantly exhausted, oversleeping, felt weak and achy. I went to my doctor asking for a med adjustment, but when I described my symptoms she got a funny look on her face and ran some blood tests. It turns out that sometimes those things are symptoms of actual disease and I had mononucleosis. Apparently there was a serious outbreak of mono on campus and it’s a lot more contagious than we were led to believe in high school (less “kissing disease” more “touched the same doorknob and now you’re dying” disease). Excellent. Just what I needed for my first semester teaching three classes instead of two.

Between teaching three different preps (Comp 2, Tech Comm, and Ethnic Lit (!)) and constantly feeling like I was dying, it was a rough time for sure. To add insult to injury I had the first ever student who I genuinely could not stand. You know me, I love my students. I’ve had difficult kiddos before who I’ve dealt with patiently, but this one just took the cake. Between him and the disability situation, I met with HR way more than any one person should have to in a semester—much less a person semi-dying of mono for four months. 

Research update: As a result of the general feel of the semester, when my prospectus defense was cancelled because a committee member refused to sign off on it, I sort of gave up for a while. In all honesty, I’m excited about the opportunity to do something else—I just don’t know what. And with all the awful that I was dealing with, I spent most of the semester contemplating dropping out at the end of it. I didn’t, and I’m glad I didn’t, but now here I am mid-summer still looking towards the fall with a mix of confusion and frustration. Sing to me, O Muse, of something I can write about!

So, that’s my very quick summary. I’ll write another soon and explain what’s going on now and where I am. Here’s a spoiler: I’m in Ohio.