Yes. No. Yes. I learned a long time ago that when you don’t know the answer to that question, the answer is no. No, I’m not not okay in a way that requires you to do anything about it. But I’m not okay in the sense that I feel far from all right.
I dealt with my students today. I thought I was pretty light on them, all things considered. The first registered his protest but managed to be polite about it. The second, treated much more leniently, cursed at me. We were done at that point. He can talk to my department chair about it. I don’t have to take that from him. I don’t have to take that from anyone. And if he goes in with that to the chair, I’d be willing to bet that he’s going to land in more trouble than he was bargaining for.
Of course, little does he know that I consulted my chair every step of the way through this, from when I first saw it, to deciding what to do about it. I didn’t bother to tell him that.
Dealing with people is hard. Feeling their emotions (especially when they are being blasted at you) is hard. Having to make unpopular decisions is hard.
It’s also my job. To determine what grade a student earned. To determine when something looks fishy and requires a sanction. It doesn’t matter how much integrity or fairness is brought to that process; someone’s going to get angry at you for an outcome that they don’t like. Angry at me.
On the most part, I think I can deal with this, but lately, it’s been too much. Over and over. At something I used to feel like I was good at. And maybe I still am, but I no longer have my reputation preceeding me. The default expectation for female is often pushover, and when it isn’t, that quickly flips to rhymes-with-witch. If, especially as a young woman, you aren’t being called a certain name on occasion, you are probably being far too easy. Or you have a lot more finesse in dealing with people than I do.
It doesn’t feel good. Not one bit. Part of me wishes I could cry about it, but that’s not coming up and out of me. I just … don’t feel okay. No, there’s nothing you can do about it. I don’t need you to help. I don’t need rescuing. I just need to do my best to push through the rest of today, and then to get through tomorrow, and then get through the next day. I know that things come together, then things fall apart. That’s the natural cycle of being. Persevere through this stage, and things will get better again. They’ll get worse again after that, but no sense in worrying about that now. I have enough worries at the moment.