Third Week: Bleah

The first two weeks of my summer vacation have been excellent. I hung out with friends I hadn’t seen in a long time, I had lunch with Redditors, I played games and read and rode my bike around the lake.

Week Three was supposed to be the point at which I got back to work on The Novel. Alas, Dawnguard arrived yesterday (Tuesday) and so much for that idea. Now I’m deeply enmeshed in that adventure, and everything else is on hold. (And yeah I feel like a slacker and a video game addict, but what else is new?)

The bigger problem I’m having is insomnia. I keep waking up at 5:15 AM with headaches and groggy confusion. I took a nap yesterday and the woke up in a Twilight Zone, which lasted for the rest of the evening.

We turned on the window AC unit for the first time this morning and it made a hideous bangbangbang noise. Diane tried to get the front panel off, but apparently this is impossible without destroying it. (That pronoun at the end there is deliberately ambiguous.)

I’m not really sick but I have a headache. I read somewhere recently that we often wake up somewhat dehydrated, so drinking water is a good idea in the morning. (Usually it’s just coffee, so this seems plausible.) So I’ve been drinking water in the morning. Today it’s not helping much. I took two Aleve but they’re not doing much either, so far as I can tell.

It’s not a lie-on-the-couch-and-do-nothing-except-watch-30-Rock type of headache, but neither is it the type of ache which is easily ignored. The AC repair dude (a nice and very capable guy who repaired our washing machine once) said he’d come by “later in the morning” so I can’t really take a nap (and besides, napping this early in the morning always seems silly to me, even though I’ve been awake for four hours). Meditating seems risky, since it could at any point be violently interrupted with knocking and dog scrambling.

So instead I’m just writing, mostly because I don’t know what else to do. I don’t feel like playing Dawnguard, but I feel like I should, because The Novel isn’t going anywhere and I need to finish with Dawnguard so I can get to work on it. (Meanwhile I’ve got two other projects sitting on my virtual desktop that I haven’t touched in days. Then there’s the new INS project that’s 3/5 done and I want to get finished this summer, and the fantasy story I started last month and want to work on and blah blah blah.)

Deep breaths are good. Maybe I will lie down. This feels like the most purposeless thing I’ve ever written for public consumption. Apologies to those who expected something more profound or intriguing.

Teaching Destroys Sleep

I have only anecdotal evidence, but I believe there is an epidemic of insomnia among educators.

In my three years with the city schools, I’ve seen a teacher with 10 years of experience become convinced, after just a few observations, that he was a terrible teacher. A few months later, he quit teaching altogether. I collaborated with another teacher who sought psychiatric care for insomnia after a particularly intense round of observations. I myself transferred to a new school after being rated “unsatisfactory.”

William Johnson, “Confessions of a ‘Bad’ Teacher”