09 March 2010

Without Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Just another eleven hour day on four hours' sleep. Nothing new here.

All right, I'm being dramatic. But I feel that no matter what I do, no matter how well I manage my time, there isn't enough time to do everything that, it seems, I am expected to do. As soon as I empty a folder full of students' papers, it fills again. No matter how quickly I read, I can't bring those piles of papers down to size, much less "finish" them.

When you descend into a disturbed sleep, you have nightmares. When you go to sleep with things on your mind (or, if you're a Freudian, your subconscious), you have dreams. And, of course, when you're at peace--or simply have no inner life, as Donald Trump claims--you enjoy a dreamless sleep.

But lately at work, when I'm not in a classroom, I feel like I'm in a kind of fever-dream, or some kind of feverish nightmare. People are running around like chickens with their heads cut off and complain that so much of what they do is redundant or simply unnecessary. Perhaps they're right. I sometimes feel the work that finds its way to me is made unnecessarily complicated by various clashes of egos. A fellow committee member, who has much more experience in such things than I have in such things, said as much, without any prompting from me.

Maybe I'm not crazy after all. But I'm definitely sleep-deprived.

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