incompetence

“Mine are three. It doesn’t get any better.”

That’s what she said to me as I wheeled my two baby girls into daycare this morning. “I’m sure they keep you busy. Mine are three. It doesn’t get any better.”

Well, I guess there’s no “It gets better” project for twin moms.

Which sucks, because for the last few days I just feel like life is hard. I feel incompetent. Like, not only can’t I do it all, but I can’t even do the little bit that I want to do. The little bit that I thought was achievable.

All I want to be when I grow up is an English professor. I’m beginning to think it will never happen. I’m beginning to think I won’t even get my freakin’ masters, let alone a PhD, because it’s all I can do to take two classes per term and stay on top of my coursework. A full load for most people is three courses, but two seriously puts me at my limit. And don’t even get me started on studying for my comps exam, which I’m supposed to be doing somehow on top of and outside of my course work. I truly cannot find the time. Not that I know where the time goes, except that there is always someone to be held or fed or changed, forever and ever, amen. Sometimes I manage to make dinner, or do a little laundry, but please don’t look at the tumbleweeds of dog hair on my floors or my dirty toilets and sinks. We’re just getting by here. Every night that we put two babies to bed feels like a victory.

And yet a few of my profs found out I hadn’t signed up to take the comps this term, and they told me I should take it, so I decided to give it a try, despite the whole not studying thing. And then I had a disaster morning and a baby peed on me, and a car seat came unbuckled in my moving car, and earlier daycare drop off was a nightmare, and I was ten minutes late for the first day of the test, and the door was barred to me, and there were many many public tears. And then someone fought for me, and I got to take it after all, and I’m still pretty sure I failed. And I still rallied for Day 2, the essay portion, and I think I did ok on 2 essays, but I needed to write 3, and I just didn’t have an answer for any of my other options, so I came home, and went to bed. I am not used to feeling this incompetent

I can try again in the spring, and I will make a study schedule and try again in the spring, but I just feel so defeated. I feel like it is such a battle to just make time for my academic pursuits, and I know that it’s not going to get any better, and then I wonder about all of it, and what I’m doing with myself. And we have to maybe move again at the end of this year, and I have to maybe start a new life in a new place all over again, and make a life for two small people, and it’s just exhausting.

I feel like a broken record lately, “But I have two babies.” Two babies. So small. I underestimated them. Perhaps I overestimated myself. It’s just so very hard sometimes, and I can’t even really explain the hardness, except to say that it is. And right now it feels a little too much for me. Two classes I can do very well on top of two babies, but graduating might just prove to be too much.

So there’s that.

I was afraid to even write this because I know my family reads this now, and I know they will freak out and also give me a bunch of platitudes about how I can do it. But I just need to feel my feelings, right now, and this is what I’ve got.

 

talking about gender in a class on women writers? CRAZY!

So, three years after graduating with an undergrad degree in English and political science, I’m finally back in the classroom and loving it.  I fear that my one “non-degree student” class may indeed lead to a degree, though I can’t make any decisions on such things until after December, when I find out where we’ll be spending the next 3 years of our lives.  Anyway, the class is ENGL517: Sex, Power, and Science in 18th Century Women’s Writing.  With Sex and Power in the title, I went into the class pumped to talk about feminist and gender theory, among other things.  I may have even geeked out a bit and pulled out my old Crit Theory text from undergrad to brush up a bit.  What can I say, I’m a nerd!  Anyway, apparently not everyone in my class expected to spend much time talking about gender, sex, and power.

Yesterday at The Pursuit of Harpyness, a blog I frequent, my friend Sarah.of.a.lesser.god did a post called “You Don’t Need to be a Woman to Study (Women’s) History,” about the dearth of men taking women’s studies classes.  On the first day of my class, I noticed that the room was filled with women, with one lone male student.  I hoped that he would be intelligent and willing to contribute a well-reasoned male perspective to our discussions, as I enjoy some good pushback in an academic discussion.  Ok, more accurately, I enjoy a good debate or argument.  However, after the second class, I’m pretty sure my high hopes for this guy were in vain.  Not only is he too timid to really share (which, really, is understandable, it’s intimidating to be the ONLY ONE), but when he does share, he pretty much reveals his ignorance (which, maybe this class is just the eye-opener he needs!). Continue reading “talking about gender in a class on women writers? CRAZY!”

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