I woke up this morning thinking how ridiculous it is that I still devour my own flesh like the vulture that eats Prometheus’ liver each day, and noticing that it is now just within my power not to do it.
Of course if I did not spend as much time virtually murdering myself and then recovering from it, as I do, I would have more free time. Reeducation thought the best use of free and also research time was to employ it consuming one’s own organs and as we know, I am still trying to shed this habit.
Professors, meanwhile, want us to save time, but the best way I can think of to save time is not to teach basic foreign language courses. Let us review my justifications for this — (a) I consider it out of field the way I do ESL, (b) these students are energy vampires, and (c) those instructors and TAs are another world and I have enough to do in mine.
Part of why I struggle with self hatred so much is that I feel so guilty or rather, so fearful about being so research oriented and not oriented enough toward freshman teaching. If I do not change myself quickly, the executioner will come, I think. How can I find a way to confess to this Inquisition that will convince them it is to their advantage to allow me my heretical background, and give me some sort of reprieve?
Meanwhile we have DEH’s intriguing idea. I am supposed to work 60 hours a week, 10 months a year, but I have decided 50 is a more realistic goal, and 40 looks the best and happiest and most productive. 60 hours a week is 2400 hours in 10 months, which over 12 months comes out to 200 hours a month, which would be 50 hours a week. Now, 50 hours a week is 2000 hours in 10 months, which over 12 months comes out to 167 hours a month or 42 hours a week. I have to start teaching in the summer because I cannot afford not to, but this is all right, and once in a while I will go on short vacations and not work. So I can just go for 40 or 45 and never have to adjust for the seasons.
I like this and I note that it is also a lot more like what I used to do — before I learned how to take on all of these recriminations, before all the guilt about being research and not teaching oriented, before all the discussion about how this was so selfish, hedonistic and pleasure-seeking, and before all the accusations about how bad it was to be athletically or intellectually oriented (the only acceptable things are basic teaching and motherhood and music and art, so long as these last do not become professions).
But everything I used to do was in fact always right.