On this Dryvember Day Fifteen, I find myself suffering from anxiety paralysis. I have a lot of stuff to do. Yet, I just can’t start. There are a few reasons for this that I can think of. One, the semester has reached its midpoint, and that is always a stressful time. I have papers to read, and the students are starting to feel the crunch. It’s a stressful and awful time for everyone involved.
Secondly, I am still in the process of trying to book my flight home. I can’t do it myself because I can’t use my Chinese bank card for such things. To further complicate things, I haven’t been able to transfer money to my US account. However, I can have my work book the ticket for me, which they are. The problem, though, is waiting for them to do it. And Tom Petty said it best when he said ‘The waiting is the hardest part.’
Beyond those things, though, there is a spelling bee happening at the university. We’ve known about it since before the semester started, but the school hasn’t been very forthcoming with details. I’ve been trying to prepare my students the best I can, but it’s been like shooting in the dark. Well, today, they finally gave us some real information, and for that I am appreciative. However, the competition is next week, which doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to prepare. Plus I have to coordinate with a colleague to create the list. All of that is fine, but it would be nice to have a little bit more time.
What really bums me out about the spelling bee, though, is I have to be there for the final round.
Dryvember Day Fifteen Breathing Through Anxiety Paralysis
See, the first round takes place in class. That’s great. I love it. I mean, I hate this whole spelling bee business, but I can handle having to do it in class. But, I hate the idea of having to co-moderate it in front of the whole school, or at least a large portion of it. My students embarrassing me doesn’t concern me. I’m sure they’ll do fine. I just don’t like the whole idea. It freaks me out. Anyone who’s had to stand in front of a large crowd of people who barely speak your language can understand what I’m talking about. Hell, anyone who’s had to stand in front of a large crowd can understand it.
It would be one thing if I just had to be there to watch and support my students. I would happily do that. but, having to moderate and judge gives me a sinking feeling in my chest. I know it will be fine, but until then I will just keep breathing.
The anxiety paralysis I’m feeling on Dryvember day fifteen has me fully in its clutches. I have one more class to teach today, and then it’s off for comfort pizza. I should work on grading papers tonight, but that will wait until tomorrow. My headspace is barely in a spot for me to think about teaching my class. And, I already taught a version of it earlier today.
Deep breaths, Ian. And pizza. Those will help. As will finally watching The Mandalorian.