Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Seeing What Needs to Be Done

I rarely change the roll of toilet paper. I leave the dregs hanging on the tube. I also leave dresser drawers and cabinet doors open. It's a flaw. My husband says I'm lazy. For some reason he doesn't equate these habits with his own inability to pick up a basket of laundry or pile of toys that are sitting at the bottom of the stairs waiting to go up. Or to wash the dishes in the sink. I know that he isn't lazy - he simply doesn't see it. Just like I know why I fail to change the roll of toilet paper. By the time I wash my hands in the sink across the room, I've forgotten it needs to be done. I'm five steps down my mental list of "what comes next."

This summer has not been relaxing.  Though I was supposed to take time away from work for myself and for my writing, my days are consumed by teaching and administrative duties.  Work and email from 48 students, most of whom I have not met in person, overwhelms my inbox.  I am a tech master, a mentor, and a guide to all of these students as they navigate online coursework, field experiences and related coursework, and residency projects.  Administratively, I have read 20+ applications on my summer "break," and I've participated in two task forces.  In addition, I'm still considering my syllabus for a new, co-taught, interdisciplinary course that starts in 6 weeks.  On top of this work, I've been writing, in small spurts, trying to get a draft or two finished for submission before my tenure package is due this fall.

Perhaps this is why I rolled my eyes when my hubby yelled at me the other day.  "Are you ever going to learn to change the toilet paper?"  I have a list for home as long as the list for work this summer.  It includes making the kids' 5-year check-up, taking them, having the doctor fill out the school paperwork, and getting it submitted to the school before September 1.  And this is just one item that needs to be done.  I'm happy to leave "changing toilet paper rolls" on my husband's list.  Because quite frankly, I don't know if I will ever remember to see it.