It's that time of the semester; we're all walking around with hangdog looks, a combination of timing and the nasty weather.
Every semester, we come up against the wall at this point, smacking our faces every time. People are snippier than usual, more likely to go off on someone else, less likely to laugh at the absurdity of life.
Thanksgiving was a total change for me, but not really restful in any meaningful way, and since my Mom was here until Tuesday, I still wasn't full on board til Wednesday, and still feel like I'm recovering from the "break" to some extent. That's just downright stupid, and every year I tell myself I'm not going to do it again, and every year I do. Stupid. I'm looking more hangdog than most and making a conscious effort not to be short-tempered.
(Like with the charming student who appeared at my office door a few minutes before 5pm for my office hours from 5-6pm [before my night class], but left because she decided I'd already left, and wrote me an email to that effect. I doubt she looked at the oversized schedule on my door or that she really meant to sound that rude, right? And when I got there at 5:01, my colleague mentioned that someone had stopped at my door and then left.)
Hitting the wall makes me wonder about a couple things, though.
First, we make our semester schedules. Why do we always do this to ourselves? Is it just inevitable with the work we need to do in our different venues, and our expectations of what we'll teach in our classes and how?
Second, I know academics work pretty hard. But I also know that lots of people work hard, and plenty work harder. So I assume plenty of folks all around are hitting walls, feeling stressed, overworked, and tired. Do we just notice our wall because of the rhythm of the semester, when we all hit at the same time? Do non-academic work places just run with some people constantly hitting the wall, while others find their own rhythms and go up and down?
Or are we just whusses?