04 February 2009

Sickness in Transit

So, so tired again today. I know I have something more than a cold. I guess tomorrow I can sleep late. Maybe that'll help.

It would also help if the college cleaned the ventilation system and checked for mold. A lot of people get sick there. Others, who have much more seniority than I have, point this out. But the college administration is in denial about it and so many other things.

And today, like every recent day, I could feel the tension as I locked the door of my place behind me and started on my way to the college. I felt angry and sick as I got on the subway and as the train made its stops and, at the end of the line, I disembarked and walked up the stairs from the station to the street and on to, and through the campus. Even the chance to converse with one of the more sympathetic profs--a gay man who is in the closet on his job--didn't relieve me of the rage and anxiety I was feeling.

The feeling subsided only when I walked into the door of the classroom where I'm teaching the course I was dreading. So far, they've been great students. I've decided that the students are really all that matters at that place. My experiences with them will be what will have nourished me, and kept me sane (more or less) at the college.

That prof and I have talked before about our experiences. He doesn't feel confident about "coming out;" I was outed even before I stepped on to the campus. He's worried about the religious fundamentalists on campus--students, faculty members, administrators and staff members alike.

I mentioned that I haven't had difficulty with the students, even the religious ones. I'll strike out the "even": Some of the religious students have actually been some of the kindest of all. Ditto for the religious staff members. The problems, as I had in other places, were with politically correct people who had advanced degrees and said all the right things to my face.

So the students, some faculty members, and most of the non-administrative staff have been worthwhile. The rest of what I experience there is bullshit. The department meeting the other day confirmed that for me: If egos have to do battle with each other, they have to do battle with someone. And if you're in their crosshairs, they'll find something about you that's a threat to them.

To hell with them. I didn't sign on for that when I started my transformation. I think I'm a pretty good teacher, and my students feel that I'm helpful. Well, most of them, anyway. That's what I try to be.


Barman said...

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Justine Nicholas Valinotti said...

Hello Barman: Thank you for the compliments. In my blog, I am as honest as I know how to be and I try to keep things interesting.

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