One of the things I’m finding about my new studential life is that I am overwhelmed. It’s not the workload that is making me nuts (already, only 4 days into my first semester). The volume of work and the reading materials and all that are not only manageable but exciting! It’s the schedule that has me in a tizzy. A schedule involving 2 in-person classes and 2 online classes which, while challenging, also afford the potential to tackle the work when the kids are asleep or from Starbucks or after an awe-inspiring, stress-relieving rendition of Don’t Rain on My Parade, thank you very much, Glee Karaoke Revolution for Wii.
You’d think, based on my almost clinical inability to maintain a clear thought in my head about due dates and deadlines that my career to this point has involved just dancing along, doing what I want when I want without a care in the world. “La dee dah! Hey, you know what? Maybe I’ll write an ad today and place it somewhere. Print? No no no, that involves an actual deadline. Let’s put it online so I can post it tonight sometime, like during the break between Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice.”
During my career, I admit that I’ve become a bit of a slave to my Outlook calendar, but I didn’t realize how much! Good gravy! I have now put every single class, exam, post and other deliverable onto my Google calendar, along with many SMS and email reminders, in the hopes of not living that college nightmare of forgetting something critical or – heaven forbid! – reaching the end of the semester only to find I’ve never been to a class for which I was secretly registered, secretly even to myself! Oh heavens!
I also am discovering that my ability to quickly read, analyze and interpret content – an ability I’ve leaned on heavily for client support for, oh, 16 years or so now – has abandoned me. Hopefully a temporary setback until my brain adjusts to scholastic writing versus marketing-type jargon? So far I’ve officially read 150 chapters in the last week. It seems. Or rather I’ve read 5 chapters close to 10 times apiece. A few words are starting to ring familiar. Ish.
Either way, I love my highlighter, and my calendar is my lifeline right now. When I’m away from my computer, I feel a little shaky and adrift, like a little kid on a raft slowly floating away from the beach on a slightly offshore current. What was I reading again? When is that response due? Is it THIS Sunday or NEXT Sunday? Did I already do it, or was that my imagination?