Taking the advice that I give

This semester may be the most difficult term yet, with regard to balance between teaching and taking classes. It may also be the most challenging term with regard to understanding interpersonal dynamics and political decisions at my unique institutional environment. So many times, I have been informed that one in my position should simply be grateful to be employed and that it does no good for anyone to rock the unstable and antiquated watercraft.

I’m tired of behaving. If well-behaved women rarely make history, I may be on my way to legendary status with an intellectual revolution of my own making.

Yes, I understand that one should not air dirty laundry in public, that forums such as personal blogs may not be the place for discussing frustrations, and that participating in such output might be detrimental to my employment.

So, I won’t air the dirty laundry about the dayjob, the individuals therein, and the frustrations that it may or may not cause. I will neither confirm nor deny the existence of such frustrations. Instead, I will seek out opportunities outside of this stagnating and suffocating box of academia to be creative and to thrive. I’ll be the rose growing between the cracks in the concrete of the academic jungle.

I have got to work on my motivation, though. In the past twelve weeks, I’ve given up much of my online gaming habits. This has also separated me from online friends and acquaintances, and many of my past joys in writing and creating have withered due to a lack of consistent maintenance on my part. I need to make them come alive again. I need to realize the intrinsic joy in writing and telling a story, and I need to stop acting as if I need external validation from any number of sources on my ideas, stories, and wordcount. When it comes down to it, I just need to put my backside in a chair and put the words on the page.

I signed up for NaNoWriMo. I haven’t done it before… the excuse being that I’m busy, I don’t want to be confined to a wordcount per day, I have so many other things to do in November, etc. To be fair, that’s a lot of bullshit. I teach time management, I teach goal setting and write learning outcomes, and I’m supposed to be some campus guru when it comes to academic and personal success.

One of my students declared loudly to another that my degree had to be in “fucking AWESOME” because, as he put it, “That’s Veronica!” He wasn’t kissing up or trying to get a good grade… he’s not in any of my classes this term. He’s just one of several students who (finally) get that my heart is on my sleeve and that I care about doing a good job. I genuinely WANT to help. Unfortunately, that’s not rewarded or acknowledged in performance reviews or merit raises or any other job quantifier. Just because the student contingent finds me valuable doesn’t mean that the administration finds me valuable. Hence, I have to diverge to the creative path, get motivated, and work on those projects where I can realize that reward for myself.

Don’t get me wrong… I love teaching. I adore my students. If I could figure out a way to run an RPG based upon first-year experiences, get students to write character sheets about themselves, and do a true identity exploration like a tabletop game, then I’d be in heaven. I might even save a few more students who currently fall through the cracks. For now, though… such things are frowned upon. People are scared of Something Different. As a result, the effort gets directed toward words and stories and creating.

I’m going to do NaNoWriMo and rediscover this creative passion. I’m going to reaffirm for myself that I can create and produce, and that I’m not defined by what I do on an 8-5 basis. I’m going to get that story out, from word one, and I’m going to make it amazing.

I’m going to take my own advice about learning and success and motivation, damn it. I’ve got a degree in AWESOME.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 at 2:46 pm and is filed under academics, time management, writing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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