18 March 2009

Would They Have a Harder Time With Me If I Cried or Screamed? It's Not Their Choice

For the last two days, I have been a hermit when I've been on the campus. At least, I've been as much of a hermit as one can be while teaching classes.

I try not to talk to anyone unless I absolutely must. Being there, and not being in the classroom, is just about unbearable right now. But, even in the classroom I'm having a hard time keeping my anger and sadness in check. I haven't lashed out at anybody, and I certainly don't want to do that to my students.

Would that really be worse than if they saw me cry? Yesterday, when I arrived on campus, I went to my office and shut the door. For about an hour hot tears rolled down my cheeks. As self-indulgent as this may sound, I didn't want them to end: The crying was the first useful, necessary and even constructive thing I've done this semester for myself. I didn't care whether someone saw or heard me: I'm tired of that mentality that says your feelings must fit into certain time frames, physical spaces and other constraints. However, I didn't open the door because, but only because I didn't have the emotional energy to get myself out of the chair and to the door.

I wouldn't say I felt better after crying. In fact, the headache I'd had only worsened. But at least it was, in some other way, purgative if not restorative. I'm still feeling just as sick, emotionally and physically, as I did yesterday. But at least I know I'm dealing with the truth and I don't give a fuck about anything else. Really, there isn't time for anything else; there never is.

If what I'm feeling hasn't affected my teaching, it's blocking my work in the class I'm taking. We had a paper due on Tuesday. I thought it was postponed because the other assignments were pushed back a week. But the other students, except one, handed in their first paper. The prof said I could hand in my paper this coming Tuesday. I said I would, but I haven't even started it yet. And I'm feeling no compulsion to do it, or any of the other work in that class. After all, what incentive do I have to finish the work? If I did, I could still be looking for a job this fall. And, really, what do I need with theoretical work? I have no mind for theory even when I'm at my best. So what's to say I can do six or eight more years of the same?

I shouldn't have let people egg me on into taking the course when I really wanted to take Mandarin or Arabic. At least languages are useul sometimes, and for me, they are more real than all of that theoretical bullshit. And I could have had the pleasure of actually knowing whatever I learned in the language. But queer theory, or any of the other liteary theories, aren't in any way useful. And they're not all that interesting.

Well, at least I'm almost entirely certain that not only will I not be back at the college next year, I won't be pursuing a PhD. That's a relief, really, for all it means.