I feel like I’ve lived a whole life since our last class.
This past weekend was both my 30th birthday and our baby shower, both of which were filled with wonderful times! But this weekend was also the first before students officially started, and this year more than ever, it was filled with anxiety and uncertainty. My district is doing the hybrid model with half the students coming Mon and Tues for half days (but still being expected to work and meet with me once they get home), the other half coming for half days Thurs and Fri, and all students being virtual on Wednesdays. A friend of mine, whose district is also using this hybrid model, started a week earlier and when I asked her how it was, her response was “Hard. There’s no way to explain it. It’s just hard.”
Okay, I expected that, I thought to myself. I thought I was prepared. I really did. I thought I knew to expect the unexpected and let go of the things I can’t control.
I was wrong. I was in no way shape or form prepared for how hard this would be, and when faced with kids who are looking to you for help and guidance and strength, how can you just “let go” of the things you can’t control. When our technology doesn’t work, I can’t just say “oh well” because I have kids in my room who are lost, kids at home who are lost, and I can’t model giving up. But at the same time, what can you do? All our stuff is digital this year due to the nature of the world.
The good news is that I only cried two out of the three days we’ve been back so far! It could be worse right?
Anyway, my reason for starting off my blog post the way I did, was to explain why I did not get as much done this week as I wanted to. Going into next week I am way more hopeful, because I can better plan what to expect. Knowing how hard next week will be, hopefully I can make better use of my time or prioritize differently.
Working with my breakout group was helpful! Talking through my thesis and were I am in this process was incredibly beneficial. It allowed me to feel confident, yet also to see where I need to be doing more.
I’ve realized that at the beginning stages of this process, I was focused on my methodology. I was researching bipolar disorder and gathering notes about OCD. I was gathering sources for my Lit Review, and researching strategies for mapping out and planning the story I wanted to tell. In my sketch book, I mapped out multiple plot diagrams, character webs, and charts, before deciding to take J.K. Rowling’s advice, and use a series grid to plot my novel. I was on a ROLL! But then, once I started writing, I couldn’t stop. I became solely focused on telling the story, and I have no regrets about that. However, I realize now that I have gaps. As I write, any time I have a question, such as “What medication would Trevor take for his bipolar disorder?”, I highlight that part of the story and add a comment, reminding myself to go back and do that research. I’ve done this a few times.
I’ve been so focused on finishing this story before my daughter is born, but maybe I need to take a step back. My goal was to have the novel and my Lit Review finished before she is born, which is only about six weeks away now, so needless to say, I am freaking out! About all the life things!
But I was wondering: is it okay to pause the story and work on developing it more in terms of the research? I still feel that I have more research to do, but don’t feel confident that I can manage my time between researching, revising, and then continuing to write the story. For my thesis, does the story need to be finished? Or can I focus on continuing to research and develop the aspects I’ve already written, with the goal then being to continue working on the story itself when I can?
Once we discuss these concerns, then I think I can put together a more effective or efficient working calendar!
Looking forward to class tomorrow! Hopefully my head will be spinning less!