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Thursday, Jan. 29, 2004 - 9:58 a.m.

I feel like The Measure has changed a bit since I went to Arizona, like I'm having to fight harder against just whining every time I get on here. Probably that means I've changed, not The Measure. Unfortunately for L, that means all my whining comes out in emails to him: I'm siiiiick and I have my peeeeriod and I don't know what to teeeach today. It's all true, all that. It's messing me up right now, and it's not very interesting. My recent desire for privacy continues -- I'm not feeling so right about getting up in front of my class these days, because it feels so exposed. Being on stage at a show is not like that,'s safer. Teaching is fucking bare. And that's weird, because I think I'm a better scholar than I am a musician.

So, I'm stewing over a lesson plan. This is the big Final Day Before The First Paper Is Due, so I need to be simultaneously encouraging and intense -- they need to be unsure and maybe intimidated enough to work really hard on it and comfortable enough to actually do it. I have to launch them out far enough that their trajectory lasts all the way through the weekend to next Tuesday. It's not like a show because I'm not just presenting them with my own work; I'm trying to inspire them to think. Also, they're not drunk.

I should know better than to think too hard about my future during the week of my period, but all this annoyance with teaching right now is sending me on the usual obsessive career circle inside my head. My PhD'ed friends get jobs with 4/4 teaching loads in tiny Missouri towns (or, worse, 6/6 loads at South Carolina community colleges) and I wonder how I can ever do that. I still wonder about being a copy editor. I still wonder about being a Writer. Make the scary brain stop, please.

Off I go to smoke cigarettes and summon motivation. I will produce funny anecdotes and find my life path while I'm away.

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