Levels of Stress

The level of work I’ve done this week has been about double the level of work I normally do.  Two reasons.  One, I have work to do. Two, I didn’t do any work last weekend.  When you’re a teacher of anything, any subject, working in any institution, you have to work at least one day during the weekend.  If you don’t, the work bounds on top of you to the point of being obnoxious. I did almost no work last weekend. Thus, I spent most of Monday catching up, almost missing a class and coming close to crying.

This never happens to me.

I normally deal with work in a very systematic way. I see work.  I do work. Once a task is done, I move to the next task until all the tasks are done. I’ve never been in the position where all the tasks had to be done, all at once, at the same time.  It was to the point where I was answering emails on my phone as I went to the bathroom, two computers running in my office, grading papers as programs loaded, deciding five minutes before class what I was going to teach.  It’s not that the stress was too much. It obviously wasn’t.  If I was dealing with too much stress, then things would have not been finished and that didn’t happen. Everything was finished as they always are finished. I always do my job.  But it was to the point where I was working until 9pm on a Monday and I fell asleep in my chair, waking up ten minutes later, thinking it was Tuesday.

I say generalized statements because I truly believe that people can only understand my generalized thoughts.  If people understood my specific thoughts, what I really was thinking on a daily basis, then people’s heads would explode like popcorn. So when I say, “My job is hard,” I can understand people’s frustration. I could, and tried the last two paragraphs, to explain my job and why it’s hard. But all our jobs are hard. All of them. Being an adult sucks.  So it’s pointless to try and make you understand that my job is harder than yours. That might not even be true. I sympathize, though. I sympathize with every adult that has a job that makes you put your head down on the table and just let it ooze over you.  I sympathize and I fully understand what it’s like to have a really difficult job that you love more than anything.

And I do love my job.  Here’s why.  In my Creative writing class, we workshopped a student’s short story.  The student wrote a story where the main character was a dog. We spent about twenty minutes talking about how a story can work as a dog and we mention that, in the story, the main character, the dog, had sex with a female dog and was sent to the pound because of it.  This happened.

“The dog raped the other dog,” A student said.

“Can dogs rape other dogs?” Another student asked.

“If…” I felt my head spin a bit.  “Can…is it rape when a dog rapes another dog?”

That’s why I love my job. It allows me to think of complicated issues that matter to no one, that changes nothing, but makes my life much more interesting.

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