Thursday, April 21, 2011

Over My Empty Head

In addition to the constant, ravenous, mind-numbing hunger (see previous post) this has also happened since I've become 'with child': I'm an idiot. I referenced this in a post a few months back, "This is your brain, this is your brain on pregnancy, yadda yadda" but my condition has since worsened considerably.

I don't know if my right brain has finally killed off the left side, or maybe even vice-versa, but there has definitely been some damage done to that vital organ. (Please know that I just googled "Is the brain an organ?" I rest my case.) Interpersonal communication is taking a huge hit, as well as the communication going on between the synapses in my own brain. I present to you some situations for your consideration, and I hope that you will see that I am, in fact, much dumber than I was seven months ago.

Item 1. I joined the West Texas Art Guild. This is not the dumb thing I did. I have only gone to one meeting, but the ladies who are also in the guild with me (one of them being the retired art teacher of CHS) were very insistent that my students enter the Youth Art show in the spring. I emphatically agreed and then completely forgot about it. A few weekends ago, Koby and I were out of town and returned to find about 45 entry slips for the show stuck in our front door frame. I took the hint and began preparing works to be entered. SOMEWHERE along the line I was under the impression that the show was put on by the city of Snyder and the works would be exhibited in the Scurry County Library.

Here are the dumb things I did:
My students swept the show, winning first, second, and tying with another school for third places, and also claimed two honorable mentions. I was so proud of this fact that upon receiving the results I immediately emailed the entire CHS faculty informing them of the Colorado City 'sweep' and encouraged them to go visit the show in Snyder were they ever in the area.

This was a few days ago. Meanwhile, I have been telling the students to go see their work in Snyder's library. Cut to now: today, I participated on an advisory board at West Texas College in Snyder, where they are developing a new associate's degree in Communication Design. After the meeting, some of the other committee members began discussing my students, their curriculum, their successes (more on this in coming posts as things develop) and I was still so proud of their recent 'sweep' that I informed them all of our stellar performance in the Snyder Art show. They were all magnificently impressed (read: I am feeling AWESOME) and congratulated me on having such superb students. After the meeting, I drove over to the Snyder library, and before going in envisioned strolling through the doors and greeting the librarian as "Colorado City's art teacher and I'm here to see our winning work, thank you!" I am so glad I did not. Instead, I walked in and inquired where the students' artwork was exhibited and got one of those "I don't know what you are talking about" looks. Things started to become confusing.

It so happens that I entered my students into a more-local-than-I'd-once-imagined art show. In fact, as I now look back through emails, I am beginning to suspect that at no point were the students actually competing with any other schools except perhaps the middle school. Their work is displayed in our own library downtown, and I am now humbly drafting some clarifying emails. What I really hate is that having to do this may seem to take some of the 'glory' away from the students' achievements, which I do not feel is accurate at all. I am so proud of them and I think my stupidity does not change their accomplishment in the least.

Meanwhile, as I'm Nancy Drewing myself out of this mystery of "Which Art Show Did I Enter My Students Into" and also sleuthing my way out of Snyder (I got lost three times- spatial relationships seem to be taking a hit as well), my brain is also going a million miles an hour with what was gone over at the meeting at WTC. Dual credit courses taught by myself were discussed as a possibility that we'll go over at the next meeting - words like 'adjunct professor' were thrown around (mostly by me, I enjoyed the title). I was under the impression that I had to have my Master's to teach a dual-credit course, but apparently not. After looking at our Art Dept. website (yep, that's a link) the committee informed me that my students are currently performing above some of the entry level curriculum for this associate's degree and would easily be able to 'test out of' the introductory courses. (Please stop my heart from swelling with pride for my students.) Nevertheless, I am a little bit overwhelmed thinking about going to the next meeting. My brain can barely handle art shows, can I take on dual-credit right now?

Item 2. Speaking of over my head, here's something else I googled today:

When can babies do stuff?

Please let that sink into your mind for a few minutes. "No" is the answer to the question you're thinking... "Does she know anything about children?" Nope.

Being a socially-driven people person, I have always liked other humans. Naturally, babies fall under that category. Even though I <3 Humans, I have never been one of those 'baby' types. I remember that in my pre-teen years, some of my friends would absolutely fawn over babies, begging to help out in the nursery during church. This never appealed to me. I neither liked nor disliked babies. In fact, to this day my experience with smallish children is so limited that I can genuinely not tell the difference between a baby that is between the ranges of newborn to two-ish. In fact, the general ages of 4-8 are also blurry for me. Basically I don't have any realistic expectations for any child under eight years old. They are all just smaller than full-sized to me, kids to be hugged and played with and read to. When do they walk? I don't know. What are their motives? No idea. In any case, "when can babies do stuff" led me to a wonderful chart that broke 'milestones' down for the ages of newborn to 24 months. This is excellent.

I don't know how to correct what is happening with my brain, but I really feel like I'm losing it. I almost drove to Midland today instead of Snyder because when the lady who invited me to the meeting first called me and said 'Snyder', my brain substituted 'Midland'. It's like I constantly need someone with me, asking me to regurgitate any information my misfiring brain just processed and checking for errors in my thinking. It would be a full time job.