I'm pretty much disappearing from here, it seems. I don't seem to be able to balance things very well right now.
Diamond was diagnosed last week with a liver condition. I'm treating her with powerful "liver medication." I just don't know. I feel terrible leaving her for five days, this coming weekend, but I have two different people coming in to watch her every day at different times. She seems as if she might be beginning, just beginning, to feel a bit better.
I mentioned a little while back that I was planning a post about how this job turns me into someone I don't like very much. Yes, indeed. That comes from the feeling of pressure and impatience. It comes from rage. It comes from being ungenerous with myself and with other people.
I really noticed it when I started dealing with a PhD student who is doing a Directed Studies course with me. As it turned out, she has NO training in critically analyzing texts. None. None, none, none. How can it be????!!! My response - two weeks in a row, after receiving her "critical reflections" on the readings - was to do things like slam my computer shut and swear. How awful. It is not her fault. I recognize that. I see that she comes from a very different background, one where she is not expected to approach things in this way. I see that this is a fatal flaw in an interdisciplinary graduate studies program, which potentially sets up people to pursue projects for which they're inadequately prepared. I see all of that. But instead, I react with anger and am not particularly generous with her. I just want her to go away. I feel misled about her and her project and her capacity to do that project. These are all awful things to feel. I sense we're heading somewhere bad. I know she's been panicking to her supervisor about me. And she seems to have gone uncharacteristically quiet. Probably as a result of my not being terribly supportive - though I have tried to explain in detail - twice - what I mean by critical engagement and analysis, and given her five examples of the kind of response I want her to write.
But I feel impotent, in a sense - I don't know what to do about it - and all the solutions I can think of involve more, so much more, than I can give. So I react ungenerously - and even though it's really only in my own mind, it feels wrong. It's terrible. I don't want to be this nasty person.