(This is NOT part three of the AT series. That will come in the next couple of days.)
I have been afflicted with an acute case of Late August and we’re all waiting with bated breath to see if I can pull through to see September.
If I’m being honest, late August has never really been my time to shine. I am always the
last one on the back to school bandwagon, kicking screaming crying , clutching my sand bucket and shovel—it’s unsightly.
This year, I took on yet another class, topping last fall’s record of teaching 4 classes at 2 universities and taking one at another. This fall, I am teaching 5 courses at 2 universities, and still taking one at the other. As alarming as that is, it’s even worse than it sounds as I recently discovered (and by recently I mean pretty much hours before class began) that my remedial class is no longer pass/fail, which is a good development for the legitimacy of the program, but also means that I have to actually grade things which my friends, family, and readers know is my eternal bane. Additionally, I discovered that they raised the enrollment cap on my Freshman Comp course at U1 which means, again, more grading (are you seeing at pattern here). The class I am taking at U3 is a wildcard—not a writing workshop, as I have been advised not to take those for awhile, but, rather a 700-level new media class which really could mean anything but seems to involve an alarming number of text books. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I got talked into taking a one credit class that involves an independent study with a writer in residence. I forgot to mention it, because, I, well, sort of forgot about that. If memory serves me correctly, I have to turn in some sort of manuscript any day now.
Also, in a new Late August tradition, my editor has taken to assigning me grim breast cancer stories in preparation for the October issue, and, this year, threw in a feature about a children’s hospice, as an added bonus. She thought I’d find it “heartwarming.” Of course I can crank out impassioned, gut-wrenching missives about this stuff—I am a hypochondriac, for crying out loud—but the psychological risk it puts me in should qualify me for Hazard Pay.
From the selfie I posted above, you can clearly seem the sum toll all this has taken on my psyche. My anxiety shot through the roof yesterday; I even took to chanting (think Tom Hanks in The ‘Burbs), which, my sister will tell you, is always a Bad Sign.
So. When does May happen again?