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mother of all sunday nights

I couldn't be any more depressed that spring break is over and I didn't get to go anywhere, the daytrip to santa cruz notwithstanding.

moments ago, V, my nurse practitioner at the harm reduction therapy center inquired as to whether I might want to rethink my career choice if, even with the klonopin, the stress of teaching begins on mondays when I teach on thursdays. I have to ask you this. if you are a teacher, and a good one, but you can't teach because of a crippling social anxiety that does not respond to treatment, should you be eligible for disability?

I think so. I'm sure the republicans who run everything don't. I'm sure they think I should stop whining and just go slowly--or quickly--insane.

here I've spent ten years learning to be a university professor and I don't think I can be one. I could, I think, teach two classes per term without going completely crazy from the stress but the panacea that klonopin was supposed to be is not turning out exactly as hoped. at least so far. there is still time, and probably room for increased doses and all that but it is just depressing that I can do something and do it well and have to overcome sheer panic every time I do it, to the point that I obsess over it for days before it has to be done.

it may also be that I just needed more of a vacation than I got. I have to come up with a way to get out into the woods here at some point but every fucking payday I end up already owing 80% of my net to someone else and that's it. no money for a hotel room on the coast and not even enough money to go be a retreatant at Green Gulch because they require three nights and I don't have the time and money for three. I wonder if I could plead my case and just do two. I could spend one night in their guest house for $75 but at the moment I don't have $75 and by the time I get paid friday $220 of it will belong to various therapists. this, too, should be covered by the state or at least the fucking insurance company who have reduced their payments to "out-of-network" providers to a mere 60%. I say this every so often I know but almost everything insurance companies do should be illegal.

what the hell does it take to start a revolution, anyway? I'm looking for something on both the personal and political level. I want there to be money for artists that is not doled out exclusively to those who please the jurists. I want to be free to put whatever I want into my body as long as I don't hurt anyone and I want it legal, regulated for quality and potency, and taxed. I want mental disabilities to be recognized for the immense obstacles to well-being that they are and not referred to self-sufficiency or some other model based on specious idolatry of the independent subject. I want education to be free for however long anyone wants to stay in school and I want higher education to produce visionaries and compassionate leaders rather than efficient managers and jargon-spewing attention whores. I want every child in the world presented with a menu of worldviews to choose from by a variety of responsible and educated adults rather than indoctrination and brainwashing at the hands of the indoctrinated and brainwashed nuclear family.

is that enough? it's only the beginning. I will acknowledge being, at times, filled with resentment. this is not the best position to act from but it is a position we all must occupy at one time or another. at least I try not to make it a platform for stomping things out but for putting things together in a different way.

well now I'm not depressed so much as I am pissed off. on the scale, that's an improvement.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 21st, 2006 11:49 am (UTC)
the state of the world after your revolution would be such an improvement! it sounds so good.

it's a shame green gulch wants a commitment to 3 nights. i hoped you'd be able to go. as for not being able to teach after preparing for so long, that's painful. an old friend of mine on long island is married to a man who teaches at a junior college. he spends all his time preparing, grading, and talking about how it's too much. he refuses all her attempts to get him into therapy or onto meds. i know i'd find facing a classroom and taking on responsibility for teaching to be not only daunting, but outright scary.
Mar. 21st, 2006 05:46 pm (UTC)
see it's too bad I'm transsexual mental patient or perhaps I could run for president. or king!

I think I'll get to green gulch eventually here even if for only one night. the best thing to do would be to make a reservation with them immediately upon getting paid and then worry about things like milk and cereal money later.

teaching is scary but I hear it doesn't need to be this scary. doing it full time I'm afraid would just drive me completely around the bend.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 21st, 2006 05:49 pm (UTC)
thanks. the first two cups of coffee are telling me it will be a nice day, but then coffee always says that. we'll see what its tune is long about 3pm.

I did manage to get some accomodations from the disabilities office at school when the depression was at its worst, but yeah I'd like it if some of our esteemed congresspeople could contract a few chronic disorders and see what it is like to pull yourself up by the bootstrap when the bootstrap is broken.

so can I sign you up for the revolution then?
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 21st, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)

"one roller derby queen. could skate through knots of republicans and throw them into disarray."
Mar. 21st, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC)
I say you should you be eligible for disability in the case you outline. But that's me.

I'm of two minds: on the one hand, I think it's easy for a counselor to say "maybe you should think about another career." And much less easy to make such a shift, or even to know whether you want to.

On the other hand, the university is very, very narrow in terms of who is able to make a career of it. And the other things you're discontent about here (the paycheck, the insurance coverage, the inability to get away for a vacation) -- those are part of a university career, too, at least at the instructor level.

My third hand is, you may not have to wait for the total revolution you describe. There is definitely hope for a smaller revolution, the revolution of your intellectual work. I think you can do one thing for a living and another for your intellectual interests. Especially because you have computer skills, and more importantly, the ability to learn computer skills. I know the dot-com boom is over, but information work is still highly paid.--And the intellectual work you do outside your job, that could include teaching. One course a semester, say, or teaching in your own kind of institution.

This is just an idea; it's not that I'm in a position to hand you the solution or that I know everything about your life. Or that this would work for you.

About teaching: The people at this institution, Kootenay School of Writing (http://kswnet.org/info.html), they offer study groups about Althusser and Deleuze and so on. For free, for no credit, to some very serious readers and writers. They are an inspiration to me.

I'm trying to say, the university is not the only game in town. Even though it is almost the only game in town. --I know you have lots of other talents, art, other kinds of writing, I'm just thinking about this one thing, where does an intellectual go who doesn't fit in, or doesn't want to pay the price to fit in?

Even in this limited, unsatisfactory situation, there could be a way to put things together differently.

Mar. 21st, 2006 05:56 pm (UTC)
thanks. I know there are ways to put together a life differently and even Judith has suggested alternatives to me and I think as long as I can teach a little and/or do computer work and still have time for my own writing I will be ok. last night was just one of those nights where every little anxiety seems to converge.

KSW looks interesting. it looks like Lyn has had some commerce with them, or at least donated some books to their library. I should talk to her too, honestly about how to support oneself as a writer. of course, she became a professor, but there might be other avenues that she's familiar with.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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