Friday, December 28, 2007

Overwhelmed

I know that I should be diligently working on something, whether it's research, my TFA application, or just cleaning my room, but I'm doing none of those things. Instead, I'm sitting in the lab getting nothing accomplished. The tasks I have to accomplish in the next few days, weeks, and months seem tremendously daunting, and I'm stressed out.

My grandfather is doing much better. Eight years ago he recovered from a bad bought of pneumonia, but he's had to be on oxygen ever since. He's been getting gradually weaker, bouncing back surprisingly well from each illness and surgery, all things considered, but always ending up in somewhat worse shape. We've reached the point when the purpose of medical care is to make his life more comfortable rather than to try to prolong it, and that bothers me. He didn't have to go to the hospital since antibiotics have proven yet again to be a wonder drug for treating bacterial infections, and he's breathing much more easily and seems more comfortable. It looks like he's recovering; on Christmas, we weren't sure that would happen this time. I don't think my grandmother will take it well when he does pass away, and the whole thing is likely to be very hard on my mom as well. I'm worried.

Right now, I'm also supposed to have a plan for my life. As if today, I need to take E&M, physics senior seminar, write and defend a thesis, and I'm done with my degree. (I've signed up for other classes as well, but only because I never resist the temptation to sign up for more science and math classes. I already have more than enough hours to graduate.) After long talks with my adviser, I have a plan, at least in theory. I'm going to go teach for a couple of years, and then if I still want to go to graduate school, I'll apply. By spending some time living like a monk in the world and doing pretty much nothing besides teaching and studying, I might be a little stronger and better prepared when I get to graduate school.

This all sounds good, so why am I freaking out? Writing application essays is forcing me to articulate why I want to teach, and I'm having a hard time with that. Good secondary science and math instruction is important, I like teaching, and I think I could eventually become a good teacher. Teaching a lab was one of the most difficult things I've done in my life, but it was also one of the most rewarding. Still, I'm not certain I have what it takes, and right now my primary goal is to convince others that I can do this even though I have doubts myself.

I definitely don't have adulthood figured out yet.

2 comments:

Mrs. Micah said...

You're not the only one. I don't know what your schedule has been like lately, but is there room to give yourself a day off? Maybe spend some time meditating/breathing/doing yoga. Or go on a really long walk. Or get coffee. Sometimes life gets to be too much and time off is a good thing.

Glad to hear your grandfather is doing better!

centsandsensibility said...

Is there such a thing as "having adulthood figured out?" I havent either!

It's a crazy time of year and things will calm down soon, you'll see.

Glad to hear about your grandfather.