Around ten o’clock I head out to my classes, ready to teach. Class usually goes pretty smoothly—I’ve done this long enough that I rarely make out a detailed lesson plan any longer—I work from old lectures that I wrote when I was less experienced that I am now. The students, mostly incoming freshmen this year, are pretty attentive and are able to answer questions and participate in class.
Some days are better than others. Sometimes it’s just a great big slog through all the material; other times I sail through and watch the kids’ eyes light up as we discuss poetry, fiction, and plays. I find that I enjoy class more when I’m a little on the manic side—it makes it seem to pass faster and I’m more animated in making the presentation. But that can be dangerous as well—I may tell something too revealing about myself or go off on a tangent unrelated to the matter at hand. So I really have to harness that energy carefully.
Once I get home it’s lunch time—I eat a light lunch and wait for Bob to come home so we can exchange news of the day. Sometimes I can fix him something before he comes home, sometimes not. He told me when we first got married that he could do cereal for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch, but he wanted a home-cooked meal for supper. So I try and prepare for that by taking out meat to thaw and making sure I have all my ingredients ready.
Some days are better than others in that area as well. Sometimes I forget to take out meat to thaw; other times I simply don’t know what I’m going to fix, so I have to improvise with what’s at hand. I can go to the grocery store on Sunday with a list and still come back with nothing to fix for suppers during the week. If I’m going to have an anxiety attack, it’s going to be in the grocery store trying to get everything I need without forgetting something. I have at times sat in my car in the parking lot and cried, praying out loud for God’s help because I was overwhelmed and could not face walking in and doing the weekly shopping. But usually it passes, and I wind up getting everything I need and everything is fine. Until the next Sunday rolls around.
After lunch, I go pick up the youngest from school and bring her home to snacks and homework. I usually take the opportunity to check email again and see if I have any messages that need action. Since I usually don’t, I may go look at news online or do some Facebook. My daughter comes to me when she has questions about her homework, but she is fairly independent with it, so I don’t have to help her much.
The two oldest come in next, and we exchange words about the day. They have good days and bad days, like me. Sometimes the afternoons are continuations of the mornings—when I’m in the low points I lay down on the bed and drift in and out of sleep until it’s time to cook dinner or go somewhere. My oldest can supervise the younger ones on days when I simply can’t stay up any longer. Those days are occurring less and less often as the months go by—something I’m very grateful for.