November 18, 2011

Roses and thorns

I've been writing a lot less in general, but this week I was extra silent. To be honest, this has been a pretty exhausting week mentally.

I had my first observation by my new coordinator on Wednesday, which was mildly stressful - I typically enjoy getting observed, but since this was my first time at this new university, I guess I was just extra nervous. It was also interesting, I suppose, because my coordinator doesn't speak a word of French. I think that somehow made me more nervous; since it's introductory French, even someone who doesn't speak a word of the language should still be able to understand most of what I am trying to communicate. I think it went well, though - we'll meet to discuss after the Thanksgiving break. She did say afterwards that she enjoyed the class and that she loves my French accent, if that counts for anything!

Another thing that made this week stressful was a discussion I had with one of my students, who was discussing the lecturer who previously held my position at this university, and some specifics on why she was let go from the job. Without getting into too many details of the situation, I guess there was a tragic incident involving one of our students, and her relationship with the young man (professionally) was called into question.

It had me thinking a lot about the students I work with, and about people in general. How you never really know someone's story, so you ought to treat everyone fairly and with respect. It reminded me of a kid I taught back in Chicago. To be totally honest, I couldn't stand him - he was incredibly annoying and a bit of a smart aleck. But the kid adored me and my class - at the end of the school year, he even gave me a copy of a film he told me repeatedly that I should watch (but that I never really sought out on my own). In the second semester of teaching him, he missed two weeks of class at a time; he later came to my office with documentation because he had spent some time in the hospital. This was a very boisterous, very social kid that I would not have imagined to have issues with stress, anxiety, and depression. And since then, I guess I've taken extra care in observing student behaviors, in making sure everyone feels welcome and comfortable in my classroom, that I don't show preferences or treat any student differently than anyone else.

With that weighing pretty heavily on my heart, I've also been feeling a little down because it's my birthday this weekend. I guess that deserves a post of its own, though, so I'll expand upon that on Sunday with whatever recipe I dream up.

Weight is down two more pounds this week, to 196. I'm glad to be losing, but not celebrating anything just yet. My new eating plan seems to be working - but the real test will be continued loss and dropping into the 180s. I've figured out how to turn a good day into a string of good days, and those become an overall good week. Now: to practice stringing together good weeks.

I still owe you my thoughts on my plateau after conversations I had in Chicago. Soon, I promise.


financecupcake said...

Happy birthday! You're required to have a fun, positive weekend.

It does sound like you've had a lot going on this week. I bet you're great at what you do.

Jen said...

Mary, you are beautiful and brave. Just want to remind you of that!

Spoonful of Me said...

Happy Birthday

Amy said...

stringing together good weeks is so the key for me. Stuff falls apart on the weekend when I want to have fun.... and then I have alcohol and food choices always become hard.

Congrats on the loss, you'll get there!

Tim said...

Hope you have a wonderful birthday this weekend, Mary.

Good luck with the observation results :)

marisol said...

Have a wonderful birthday weekend!

Une femme libre said...

Je vous souhaite un bon anniversaire. C'est vrai qu'il faut faire attention à ne pas porter des jugements hâtifs sur nos étudiants. Il y a plein de gens qui ont des croix à porter et ce n'est pas nécessairement écrit dans leur front. Un professeur attentif et généreux peut faire une réelle différence dans la vie d'un individu.

Leigh said...

Hi Mary. I am a new follower and fellow blogger that just started my weight-loss journey. I just spent the better part of my morning reading through your blog. Thanks so much for the inspiration! You are doing a great job and I love finding encouraging blogs to help me along. Just wanted to tell you thank you for sharing your story. Happy birthday!