Saturday, September 25, 2010

Congestion, Sleep Deprivation, and Other Obstacles

It's 6:30 am on a Saturday morning, and I am sitting here at the computer, totally bummed.  I needed to sleep late this morning, I actually had the time to sleep late, and as usual when these conditions exist, I just couldn't do it.  I woke up at 4:30 am (close to my usual time), dozed until 5:12 when I absolutely had to go make a trip to the bathroom, came back to bed and tossed and turned until 6:05 when I gave up.  Part of the reason that I couldn't get back to sleep is the cold I have.  Once all the congestion gets disturbed, the coughing and sinus draining starts to interfere with sleep.  And then my brain starts whirring.  I start thinking of all the chores and errands I have to do, all the school work I have to do, and this morning, I also started thinking of the meditation I still have to prepare for church tomorrow.   So, here I am, with a great cup of coffee, sitting at the computer.  The bright spot is that I was able to connect to the internet at a faster rate than we've been able to of late.

We don't have high speed internet here.  This summer, Fairpoint brought high speed access to 2/3 of my road, but I live in the 1/3 that didn't get it.  We have 2 options for internet access:  dial up or purchasing satellite services.  We've lived with the dial up connection for years.  When my neighbor chose the satellite option we were very interested in his experience.  He has had many problems with it, and has been extremely disappointed in the speed.  Plus, it's really expensive.  Our dial up never connected at top speed of 56 kbps, but we usually connected at 52 kbps.  Since the upgrade however, our usual connection speed has dropped to 26-28 kbps which means we usually can't connect to many websites before timing out.  I have trouble connecting to my bank services, and trying to shop on line has been problematic.  Even email can be extremely frustrating, especially when friends send us photos!  We've called Fairpoint numerous times, and finally were told that because of the upgrade, there's less bandwidth available for dial up accounts.  In addition, there are no plans at this time, to expand the high speed availability.  So, not only are we deprived of the high speed access, our dial up access has been drastically reduced.  Does anyone else see a problem??   Occasionally we can connect at 41-42 kbps, which is what happened this morning.  So today, you get a blog post!  (And I probably won't log off the computer until Monday morning!!)

Work has been pretty stressful.  It's been a real culture shock for me to switch grade levels.  Aside from the expected burden of learning new curriculum and developing completely new units,  there is a huge difference between 6th graders and 7th graders.  My tried-and-true classroom management tricks aren't working, so I've been putting a lot of energy into learning new management skills. I've been getting to my classroom about 45 minutes before my contracted time, and I've spent 3-4 hours at school after my contracted time.  I've spent most of my weekends doing school work too.  Despite the fact that I've been in the classroom 17 years, I've been feeling much like I did my first year teaching.   I have some other serious issues to deal with also, which have made it difficult to be positive about work right now.  So that's been interfering with sleep too.

Maybe the clogged internet is a metaphor for my life right now -- an overload of information trying to pass through a very limited conduit.

1 comment:

Panhandle Jane said...

I'm going to be all Southern here and say, "Bless your heart, dear!" I understand what you are saying about your schoolwork, but I'm afraid I have no hints or methods to offer. I was always high school, and I much preferred 11th and 12th grade. Seniors at their springtime worst were easier for me than a class of 9th graders.

Allergies have given me fits this year with congestion. None of the usual methods work, but I put most of it down to the unusually damp weather we've had. I am eagerly awaiting a freeze.