I'm officially counting the days now until I am done teaching in a teleconference room if not forever, for a long time.
I cannot write an exclamation point there. It's a relief tinged with sadness. I can't wait to be done, I can't wait to have more time to become a better teacher to my better students at U#2 (which I guess will continue to be U#2 because U#1 will refer to where my husband teaches). At the same time, I feel sad.
That's why I want to keep emphasizing the things I don't like and that I can't wait to be over, but I don't know if that helps or not.
It's a constant challenge to teach this way, not to mention torture, when students aren't learning much (often because of a series of reasons, mostly not my fault) and students have so many levels of skill and ability to learn a foreign language. I've had some dark moments in these past four years. I'd say that the Fall of 2014 with its crazy challenging beginner class was the lowest point.
Few things were crazier than that first semester, though, when I taught in an empty room for students in two other universities.
And even fewer things were crazier and more awful than the Fall of 2013 when I was teaching almost seven 50 minute class periods two days a week with a one hour drive in between. I taught one 75 minutes long and two 50 minutes long classes, from 9:30 am to 12:50 pm then drove for an hour (while trying to eat something -- when I had it) to teach two more 75 minute long classes from 3-5:45!!! Thursday nights were the worst because I still had to drive 76 miles to teach two classes on Friday morning -- thankfully starting at 11 am. (I blogged a bit about that at the time calling those my über-packed days).
Edited to add: The hardest thing to believe is that in September 2013 I blogged about how I felt energized and did lots of stuff and how I was still productive a week later. I blogged a lot too, on purpose to reach my goal of more posts than the year before -- I wrote 26 posts in September, 25 in October and 30 in November (I always blog daily that month anyway). This goes on to prove my husband's theory that the busier we are, the most productive we get. In retrospect, it's interesting to see that I sound SUPER cheerful describing my Tuesdays and saying that I liked them because I went to the Farmer's market (until the end of Nov.) and yoga.
Towards the end of October my husband left for a conference and I was utterly exhausted, so I think the semester ended up taking its toll on me and by November the exhaustion was really taking its toll on me -- so in the December I wrote that the torture [was] over -- and it was, the following Fall wasn't as terrible
In the Fall 2014 it was easier because I only had two 50 minute classes in the morning and two longer ones in the afternoon and Fridays free!
Those two Falls were bad... OK, I want to write a few more posts about this transitional phase, but now I began to read old posts from 2013, so I'll come back later to write more!