Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A leetle tired today. I stayed in bed til the last possible moment this morning. I have been dizzy the past two days, and I'm not sure whether it's sinus or a bug-- this morning when I was getting ready, I had a moment when I had to sit down and cover my mouth hard, my body covered in sweat. But I waited it out, changed my outfit, and went ahead and went to work. As the day went on, I didn't feel better. When I went home for lunch, I took a nap until I had to take my mom to the dr. at 2:00. She has a ton of swelling, and we have been trying to figure out the source for it for over a year. Today, he palpitated her and said her abdomen is harder than usual, hard to palpitate, and tender. This could indicate an enlarged uterus. I fixed him with my stink eye and said, "Is this a situation in which swelling could be caused by tumors weeping?"

"Not necessarily. Could be fibroids."

Yes, it could. She has had trouble with this before. So, we are going back next week to check it out further. I'm trying not to worry about it. We have checked out everything in the past year: Heart, thyroid, cholesterol, liver, sodium, kidneys-- she's still humming along. But her health problems never improve. Still swollen. Can't take lasix for it because her sodium is too low. And so it goes. She eats when she gets bored and thinks that is the cause for her weight gain, but it might be more complicated. She is on a number of medications that increase her appetite and make the weight cling to her. She wants to go on an all-liquid diet that her friend Mabel is on, but it is $250 a week with weekly meetings that are $100 a pop. I told her I'd see if her insurance will cover it, but the doctor warned her that people lose weight fast on this diet, and two years later, they are back at their original weight or heavier. That seems like an expensive diet to go on for results like that. She has seen Mabel have good, fast results, though, and I understand that. But she can't stay on a liquid diet forever, and right now, it just seems like a fad and a crock. Especially with the medications she is on and us not knowing the cause of her weight gain and swelling.

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There are not enough hours in the day. I have been thinking a lot about my class lately. I get like this sometimes when I'm teaching-- I tease things and try to figure out the larger point I want to make. I am trying to talk to them about education, who makes the decisions about it, who determines what and how they learn and why? I think this stuff is critically important, but I didn't when I was 18, and neither do they. I am trying to think how I can convince them to find this interesting or relevant-- I showed them the Matrix and talked about The Allegory of the Cave. I had them read Orwell's Politics and the English Language, and talked about Ricky's malapropisms on Trailer Park Boys.

One of my primary concerns is that they'll dismiss me because they know I'm really liberal. So, I always try to show them external sources for the information I'm giving them. But they are freshmen, so they are quiet, and it's hard to get a read on what they are thinking about it all.

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Christian went with me to hear a writer last night. We went and heard Saïd Sayrafiezadeh read from his fiction and memoir. I asked him to go with me at 7:05, and he agreed, which kind of surprised me, even though I thought it was something he'd be interested in. He asked if he had to stay the whole time, and I said, No, but please sit by the exit so you can leave quietly when you do. I had a student named Chris ask me that too, and I told him the same thing, and they ended up sitting next to each other. Christian LOVED the speaker. He wanted to buy a book and get an autograph and a picture (he suggested that I take a picture of them together, and then he told me I might want to put it on Facebook. I was seriously floored. I didn't have any money with me, of course, but our friend Jamie bought Christian a book. Well, okay, Jamie was carrying a copy of the book that I assumed the author had given him for escorting the guy around all day, so I asked Jamie if he were wed to the book. Jamie had actually brought the book for an autograph, so I felt ridiculous. Only for a moment, though, because Jamie has a way of making you feel right as rain in the middle of a fire-ant hill.

I introduced Christian to a few of my students, and he talked to one of my former students about the English versus the creative writing major. This was exciting for me, because Christian is very interested in literature, but he is worried that his father won't support anything but a more practical career (like computer science, but Christian has no interest in it or aptitude for it). I tell Christian that he has to live his life, that his parents can't do it for him, and I try to be neutrally supportive, but I can't help be tickled that his interests are so aligned with mine.
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What is new in your world?


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