Saturday, April 14, 2007

Notably Absent

It has been over 4 months since my last posting. Yes, that is almost the entire Spring semester. During this time, I have experienced many setbacks on the personal front while still managing to achieve several accomplishments professionally. How I have managed to keep my professional life going is just short of a miracle. My husband and I are now officially separated after 7 years together. My 14 year old son is not dealing with any of this well. My house is on the market and not selling. And as the saying goes...the list goes on.

Considerable personal growth comes out of moments of crisis. But the journey is anything but pleasant and in my case is far from over. I think what has surprised me is the reactions with my colleagues. Sheer horror at the situation. Granted, I work in a predominantly male department. Also consider the fact that I don't advertise my personal situation at work so the reactions are limited to a few out of many. Suffice it to say, I felt compelled to speak with the Associate Dean to make him aware of my situation for a couple of reasons. First, I am not coping well. Although I haven't dropped a ball yet it is not outside of the realm of possibility that it could happen. Second, I am utterly and absolutely overloaded with committee work. It turns out that I made the cardinal sin as a nontenured faculty member to not say "no" at every turn. Finally, I needed relief or I felt as if I would have to file the paperwork for a leave of absence (not a pretty option). This was (to me) one of the more humiliating conversation I have undertaken. Admitting that you are not coping well to your superior at work. Wow! What was I thinking. He was understanding and assured me that I would be relieved of the majority of my committee work. Unfortunately, this did not come to pass. So here I am in the same place I was before...completely overwhelmed.