Thursday, 03.27.2014 - 10:17 pm.
It's been a while since I've let so little time between entries. The usual now is a week to 12 days. My last entry was four days ago, still far from when I used to write in here everyday. But it's something!
My trip to the northernmost city has been postponed, from this upcoming week to the next one. The university I'm visiting is having some activities for their students and they pretty much won't attend class all week. In order to do my job, I require that they show up.
Hell, I wouldn't have to do this job if they fucking answered the survey they're sent to their e-mail. But they don't, so I have to travel some 3,000 miles and request time off from their classes and sit them down in front of a computer and have them sign in their e-mail account and fill in the survey right in front of me. Damn kids.
Anyway, the research project doesn't cover changes in plane tickets so I had to pay that fee out of my travel allowance. My boss was going to pay from her own wallet and she already did that with a plane ticket from a visiting professor (all the way from Denmark!) whose visit fell through. I get a pretty decent travel allowance so even with that unexpected expense I'm sure I can get by for a week just fine. I volunteered to pay for it, she appreciated it and agreed, and so I scored some additional points with her. Not that I need them, I'm told she's happy with my work.
Andrew and I will have a week together, instead of him coming back this saturday and me taking off the next day and thus only seeing each other for a half a day in two weeks. I've talked to him everyday and tonight I could hear how homesick he was. That's the worst feeling, we both are very fond of being home and a few days into whatever trip we're in, we miss home and our cats (and each other, if only one of us is traveling. It's easier for the one who gets to stay, of course. I myself have enjoyed my solitude at home this week).
My day today seemed slightly unproductive as it went by, but looking back: I vaccuumed the apartment, defrosted the fridge and made lentils for the first time. I get tangible benefits from all that, I tell you.
I skipped my exercise routine however. I shouldn't have but I'm bummed that it's been more than a year of daily exercise (30 to 40 minutes), paired with taking care of my eating habits, and I don't lose a fucking pound. The bright side is that I don't GAIN a fucking pound either but come on, I deserve to see more results than that. It's Billy Blanks, man! I work hard, I've been disciplined. Since I came to Chile I got chubbier and my body seems determined to stay that way.
It's not a big deal, the weight gain. Most people I know tend to gain weight as they grow older. I can live with it. What frustrates me is that I am trying and I'm not seeing results. I'd be at peace with not seeing results if I wasn't trying. So, hey, look, I didn't try today.
And yet I'm not at peace. I feel guilty for skipping the routine, so tomorrow I go back to it. And more bright sides: I breath more easily and hopefully my bones and muscles are stronger.
Also, today I prepared my class for next week. With the trip postponed, I have to make changes to that schedule. I do not like the way I'm carrying the subjects though, I'm kind of intertwining basic research methodology and applied psychology, back and forth, and I don't feel these...I don't know, flowing or something. I haven't done such a lousy job, I think, but there are lots of things that need to be improved.
I curse the way this course was presented to me, i.e. a list of five items, namely keywords that suggested this was aimed to teach basic research methodology. As I documented myself on applied psychology, I realized whoever set the guidelines of this course confused basic and applied research. Shamefully, I did not know better either so I spent all of february preparing my classes based on that. I only realized I had it wrong, everybody had it wrong, in a meeting less than a week before classes started.
And since all of the work I did in february doesn't entirely match the very same title of the course, I'm forced to do what I didn't want to do: prepare each class the week before. It's not uncommon, I've been told. In fact, that's kind of like the norm, especially if it's the first time teaching. And it's not just my first time, it's the program's first time. The psych program opened three years ago. I'm teaching third year. Precious.
And so here I am, secretly taking this course at the same time as my students. Learning as I go, stressing every week to get a decent three-hour long class (!) ready and then a two-hour tutoring activity. My paycheck is also kind of sad, I learned this week, but I'm doing it for the experience. And yeah, well, it's kind of fun.
I'm going to bed now, hoping saturday, along with Andrew, come quickly. Tomorrow morning I'm meeting my students in a virtual classroom for the tutoring thing. I'm laaaazy and I don't want to, but once I get started, it's ok. We did it last week and it went well. They seem to appreciate saving themselves a trip to campus, especially now that autumn has begun. So do I.