Temporary Lack of Inner Resources

I went to high school right at that pivotal moment when those who argued to require students to memorize poems lost that argument. However, lucky for me, some of those teachers persisted.

I remember one of the poems I memorized.  It still resonates with me:

“Dream Song 14” by John Berryman

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) “Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no

Inner Resources.” I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as Achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into the mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.

Clio’s recent posting about “living with these three goblins of dread, demoralization, and futility”  reminded me of the poem.  But while Clio describes classic burn out syndrome, I’m more bored. I’m heavy bored.

And I’ve tried to fight it.

Professionally: I’ve revamped my composition courses with new assignments and new approaches to evaluating student writing. I’ve volunteered to serve on not one, but TWO newly formed, potentially powerful, task forces. I’m trying to focus on a writing project (and I have so many fabulous ideas).  I’m spending time planning and daydreaming about one of my favorite literature courses that I will be teaching spring quarter.

Personally: I’ve signed up for another half marathon and will once again join the weekly “training” group with what is usually a great group of women.  I’ve added new novels to my Kindle, ones that I’m excited about reading.  I make sure I’m staying social, and not crawling under the covers with chocolates and Mad Men as Clio describes (though frankly, that sounds utterly wonderful).

Seasonal Affective Disorder? Perhaps. But the weather is oddly spring-like these days.

Our college will soon have several administrative-type positions open, and I am being actively courted by a variety of people to apply. I mean actively: phone calls, emails, asides in the hallway, chats over wine during happy hour, invitations for more chats during happy hour.  It is, naturally, quite flattering, and I’m finding myself somewhat intrigued.

And after spending the last 2 days grading papers for 8 hours a day, I find myself very, very interested.

But in my current state of utter boredom, my obvious absence of inner resources, do I have what it takes to even make it through the application process?  Would a new position really save me from my boredom? Or, as Berryman’s mother says, do I just need to go find some damned inner resources?

Advertisements

6 responses to “Temporary Lack of Inner Resources

  1. Being actively sought is very flattering–and it’s a sign. “But in my current state of utter boredom, my obvious absence of inner resources, do I have what it takes to even make it through the application process? Would a new position really save me from my boredom?”

    Yes, you do.
    Yes, it could. Even the process will shake things up.

    To misquote our president, “Yes, you can.”

  2. Thank you, Undine. That’s a good point: just applying will force me to find those inner resources.

    And then, if I don’t get it, all those flatterers will owe me another glass of wine, right?

    Really, thank you for your comment. Made me smile.

  3. You go get em tiger.

    While the hell aren’t you throwing the papers down the stairs? HAVE I TAUGHT YOU NOTHING ABOUT GRADING?
    *facepalm*

  4. Sheepish grin., JC.

    I tried throwing them down the stairs, really I did.

    But, alas, these are drafts that need actual comments, not grades, so the stairs didn’t do the job!

  5. had a prof that did the stairs thing and it resulted in students getting creative with how to shape and weight their papers. So that could shake things up.

    I’ve considered admin jobs myself, though not been courted. It’s worth a shot–you can always turn them down if you find during interviewing it’s not for you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s