Tuesday, February 27, 2007

On the other hand...

Our school changed its semester system, so FINALLY, today, I'm lecturing for the first time since the beginning of December. I didn't teach a winter session course and had a really long break, therefore. A break I appreciated because as you all well know, I prefer running barefoot and NOTpregnant around the house, free of all responsibility and obligation to anyone whatsoever.

On the other hand, I'm actually sorta happy about starting tonight because if my dear husband comes home from school one more time with the comment, "Why's the house such a mess?!" I will be forced...to commit a crime.

So...tonight...I will be away while he takes care of getting kids to bed, doling out meds, fighting to get A into the shower, cleaning, sorting, organizing. Ahhhh.... When I get home after ten, the house will be quiet, quiet, other than the gentle taps and regular noises of J at the computer, other than the sound of D snoring.

I did have my telephone interview with the school I mentioned previously - not bad. I have no judgment whatsoever on how I did. I do know the interview lasted for 50 minutes, the professor did let me know that the next phase was the on-campus interview but added, "We'll keep you informed." Who knows what that meant? I figured she wouldn't have mentioned it all unless she planned on asking me back...on the other hand, the "keeping informed" part sounded purposefully evasive, unwilling to commit, which meant I didn't blow the interviewers away. Either way, I'm relieved that part is over. I was terrified, I practiced, I was ill, waiting for this thing to happen.

So yay! It's done. Whatever the result, at least for now, I've got a reprieve.

What's coming up? I'll be attending an education seminar in San Diego at the end of March. I'm looking forward to it - two days. I'll be sharing a room with an old friend of mine, a fellow professor. She's a kick, we have a lot in common, we'll laugh a lot. I might run into one of the interviewers. I'd be surprised if she didn't attend. That might be...interesting.

More doctor appointments are coming up. We've got J on a new medicine for his tics, one without any side effects. Using it for Tourette's is a bit experimental, meaning no formal study has been done on this medication. It's called "Namenda" and is normally used in patients with Alzheimer's. The drug does something to the neurons that play a role in Tourette's Syndrome, meaning the medicine should theoretically reduce the tics. We'll see. Even though he just started, I have seen a reduction in the regular tic'ing. There doesn't seem to be a change however when it comes to stress. He still grunt-yells quite a bit with his teacher (school work causes him stress). I'm patient though, this time around. After a month, if there's not a significant reduction, if he still tics as loudly and as frequently with his teacher, we're stopping the medication and waiting the requisite six months on no new medication so we can get on the UCLA study for Behavioral Modication/Habit Reversal Therapy. Basically, he'll learn to control his tics by himself. We might do it in addition to the Namenda. If he can stay on that medication for six months without a change, then we'll be eligible for the program. According to studies, Habit Reversal can reduce tics anywhere from 30% to 80%. Knowing J, we'll get the 30% which is why I'm not too keen on getting him on the program.

The other reason is that the trip to UCLA is horrible - the traffic turns what should be an hour drive into a three hour drive one way. No matter what you do, you WILL hit that traffic either going there, or coming home. Because we live in San Gabriel Valley, there's no escaping it. I don't know if I could do that twice a week, or even once a week. We've been doing it for years, going to the Jules Stein Eye Institute for J's eyes (he was born with strabismus (cross-eyed)) since he was four years old. We know that drive well.

On the other hand, if he could reduce his tics without the use of medication, that would be a lifelong skill that he could turn to whenever he needs, as opposed to medicating even during times he doesn't need to, when the tics naturally wane.

On the other hand, I've got to prepare for school, and clean up this messy house! Tomorrow, I'll think of these things.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Updating at Last

Time is short these days even though I spend hours in bed on Saturday mornings and a couple of hours a day watching television. Sounds leisurely, but that's all there is as far as kicking back. The rest of the time is spent sleeping my requisite eight hours, guiding the children in their own responsibilities, disciplining them, tending to the dog, the house, attending social gatherings and professional development classes at the college, prepping for the Spring semester, watching my weight fluctuate between 143 and 146 from week to week, housecleaning, cooking, reading, moaning about my lack of exercise, and super-marketing. The little things in my daily life feel large these days, whale-like to my Jonah-self. Blogging is somewhere down the list. Way down the list. Buried. Swallowed.

As I said once before, posts pass through me several times a day. Thoughts on marriage, children, writing, movies, friends, siblings, funerals, speeding tickets. Nothing gets written down though. Time, time keeps cutting me off.

So here's a quick listing of things that have happened that warrant rambling posts, that get cheated out of rambling posts.

1. The wife of a cousin of mine died. I met her when she was young and in love. I was a pre-teen. The memorial service was held at my great-aunt's house (the mother of my cousin). The place transported me back to my teenage years and I spent the afternoon milling in and out of a throng of relatives, looking for my parents, because certainly, they had to be there. They were there the last time I spent time in that house.

2. I spent the evening of that service at the Magic Castle, in Hollywood, California, watching card tricks and other such illusions. When I stepped out into the cool night air, as I eased my way into late-night Los Angeles traffic, I wondered the illusion of our life, of death. Wondered if I would ever learn the secret to that Great Trick.

3. J's tics disappeared, then reappeared. Our HMO has decided that we need to travel to Ontario, California, in order to see a covered neurologist. We're saving money though on the kids' medications and on sick visits to the doctor. PPO isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

4. M had the flu this past week.

5. We all had some sort of stomach flu thing that kept re-upping in our bodies over the holidays and the early part of January. Thank goodness, it's passed.

6. Television that I'm enjoying: Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, Deadwood, Prison Break, 24, the Office, 30 Rock, and the dreaded American Idol. I gave in to the craze and despite YEARS of deriding the show as the sole reason for the decline of good old fashioned dramatic series, I'm liking the delusional attempts by some at fame. I suppose I'm horrified because my GOD, I'd never do that. I wouldn't dare think such a thing possible, even if I had the talent to back it up.

7. I learned a really cool program to boost my courses that I'll be teaching in the Spring Semester (set to start the final week of February), Blackboard Academic Suite. This is basically an interactive website where I can post assignments, handouts, where I can hold discussions on discussion boards, even have chats. I'm excited. I think the students will have a greater sense of the material, and the greater sense of access to assistance. I hope I have the energy and time to truly devote to the websites for each class.

8. A's mood has been awful for the past month: he's irritable, he's sassy, and has a bad attitude. He's 9 years old. I have no idea why he's behaving this way and talking to him hasn't gotten us anywhere.

9. I have dreams of divorcing my husband. The motivation for the move changes in these dreams. One in particular was because he insisted on wearing my pink, suede, cozy boots. Does this mean I think he's gay on a subconscious level? Or maybe I feel imposed upon, that he has moved into my closet.

10. Money seems to flow out of us like blood from a cut artery which brings me to the potential full time job which will more than double my salary. I have a telephone interview with the university in two weeks. I should do okay if I can practice enough, if I can prepare well enough. Part of my problem comes from the school's desire for its professors to do scholarly writing. Because I've only been teaching for four years, because the community college has no requirement for writing, I am completely at a loss as to what the hell I would do scholarly research on. See, legal scholarship is not my love, never has been. If I do make it through the phone interview, then there will be a face-to-face as well as a teaching demonstration. You want to know the truth? I had been hoping the school would lose my resume, not because I don't feel qualified but because interviewing, being judged, scares me to death. I am filled with blood-curdling, paralyzing fear.

11. Today's a beautiful day. Tonight D and I will be out celebrating my sister's 40th birthday with wine, good dinner, fun conversation, kids with babysitters. Ahhhh....

Happy Saturday, everyone.