Adjusting

Yesterday I finished the majority of work to be done before early next week, for Collection Development. Today, I updated everything I could think to update, in lieu of working further on homework and my project.

I also went out to the produce market and retrieved a bunch of stuff which will be nourishing for me to eat, while I study. I did get some time off of work (a benefit of being part-time), to be adjusted after I get my project turned in.

I also took a shower and washed my hair…and slept. I probably shouldn’t be up now, but I didn’t wake up until 7:30 PM, or something. (I guess D did tell me I’d fall asleep in the recliner, though at least I had the presence of mind to go to bed. I thought to look for that crochet blanket I’d been working on, but was too tired to think of where it might be, and dig it out.) I’ve been trying not to get sick, which is why I’ve been letting myself sleep so much.

Tomorrow is another appointment, which in addition to the appointment I had today and the training day I had earlier this week…kind of explains why I felt pushed to reduce my hours at work.

I have 20 pages to go before the end of Chapter 5. I found that one of my Professors likely hadn’t reviewed my more recent work because I hadn’t updated my first page with her suggested edits; so now that I know this, I should be able to get my stuff reviewed more quickly.

And I am feeling anxiety about this, but I’m probably going to feel it until it’s out of the way and done. It’s better now that I have three pages approved…I didn’t know if I was doing things correctly. But apparently, it’s good enough to pass.

Just, tomorrow…I need to take in a list of questions to my doctor. I may also want to take another shower. Aside from that, the day should be free to work on either chapter reading, or my culminating experience project.

I kind of feel like the latter needs my attention, more…if I fail Collection Development, I just get an F. If I fail my ePortfolio…that’s one shot down. I have two chances. If I waste them both, I won’t graduate — which is obviously much more important than a class that I don’t totally need.

Yeah; it’ll be better to work on the ePort than read. I’ll just read if I can’t think straight…because the thing due this week is only a two-point assignment. Priorities, right?

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Burnout? Is it burnout?

I can’t think very well, right now. I doubt turning off the television is going to help. I think it’s just fatigue. So…I’m writing here. Maybe thinking about something other than work and school, will help.

Though that is…fairly hard.

I have 25 days left before my self-imposed deadline to have the first draft of everything done, for my culminating experience. Nine barely-touched essays, though I have been successful in rustling up supporting evidence. Thirteen full days left. I’ve got to rely on trying to complete one essay almost every full day I have, off.

And…yeah, that’s some more of that. But this is a Master’s project.

I did get the idea, last night, of making a practice database project, using the provisional scenario of pretending I run an art gallery. As I’ve been going through my work, I’ve realized that I may not have to retake everything. But…

I left at this point in this entry to see whether I could drop one of my classes, and I don’t think I can. So I had to drop some work hours.

It was unnecessary for me to sign up for Collection Development. Not only do I not have to retake everything, I didn’t have to take what I did. I think I will be able to go back for Open University courses, meaning I could have taken it at any time after graduation.

Dang! It’s 12:45 AM!

Gah…well…I don’t have to go to work tomorrow, at least. I do need to work on a paper for Collection Development, which I guess I can focus on, now that I have initiated the process for not having to go in, as much. It’s at least nine hours saved per week; maybe more, if we factor in getting ready to go out, and the commute.

I should get ready for bed. I wasn’t thinking well before, and I’m sure not thinking well, now.

One of the things I’ve been meaning to write down is the question of whether drive to learn something is more important than initial skill at something. I basically want to work in Tech, but Database Management was the hardest class I’ve ever taken. And Fundamentals of Programming was not fun. But I still kinda want to do it, and I’m not entirely sure why, except that I know that I can make awesome stuff if I do know how to do it.

Straightening out my thoughts.

Okay, I’m going to take some time to write, now. Today…well, today…what happened? Shopping, mostly. I did pick up some good things to eat, which is positive. I also tried some French Brie, today. Usually, Brie is a bit strong for me, and textured like compacted dehydrated tofu, but this is creamier and milder. I like it! We also got some pears, and organic grapes, so this is going to be good. 🙂

I was also able to do some reading. I understand now why the reading is given over a week, which makes sense given the density of this chapter.

No work done on the ePortfolio, today. At least — yet. (It’s 9:30 PM right now, though I have work tomorrow, so I shouldn’t stay up until 2 AM, like I can.) I’m hoping I won’t need to drop Collection Management later on, in order to get this done. What I have realized, though, is that it’s possible to draft the majority of a Competency essay in one day. Filling in the gaps is something else, as is tracking down evidence, but the latter isn’t hard. The former is what may require extra work.

I’m aiming to get a first draft of all my essays done, by Halloween. (After that, I have roughly 20 days to edit anything remaining.) Today was the 40th day before Halloween. I have 39 remaining. If I can’t think of anything to do, I should read over some of the ePortfolio examples. I think it would diminish apprehensiveness, and keep me from wasting time.

Just yesterday, I was out taking care of some mental health stuff. I did raise the alert about my last remaining major psychological issue, which I’m working on now. I just hope it doesn’t take up too much of my mental space, when I need my mental space for these next 39 days.

But I can do this, right?

I’ve also gotten the idea to write a biography. I probably, should. In my writings elsewhere, I essentially began this. Maybe I’m feeling pressed for time because I spent two days, basically, drafting this.

That’s probable.

There’s that, and the sleep hygiene thing, where I stayed up late Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and crashed on Thursday. And the Saturday and Sunday prior, I was drafting the narrative. Meaning…what was I doing on the Thursday and Friday prior?

Looks like I was blogging and getting over being sick. That sounds about right! And the week prior to that (Wednesday to Wednesday), I was wiped out with a cold. Less than a week before then, our visitor left.

So it’s not as bad as it looks. What I need to be okay about is not starting new activities to distract myself from working on my ePortfolio and my work in Collection Development. The biographical writing and the blogging on art and gender are the two things that I have done that I haven’t absolutely needed to do, though both have been constructive, even if disruptive.

I suppose I can’t block life out all the way, can I?

And I can deal with it if I have to turn in my interview late (or not at all). I’m already in an Honors Society and I’m in my last semester of classes. A “C” won’t ruin me.

How in the world can I say that? 🙂

Am I being too tough on myself?

I need to set up a timetable for work on the ePortfolio before I get sucked any further under. Today…well, I can say that I was pretty much out of commission until about 5:30 PM. Looking back on it, I had been running with a sleep deficit, since Monday. Maybe it isn’t that surprising that I slept so long?

I did sit through lecture today, and have started in on this week’s reading (as versus next week’s reading, which is what I was doing, earlier).

I also need to learn to ask people to turn off the TV so I can study, instead of going back to bed because I can’t concentrate on anything over the noise.

So apparently, the next 2.5 weeks will be the busiest of the semester, for Collection Development. I’m not really looking forward to it, but it’s stuff I need to know…and a window into the Academic Library setting, as I’m using my research hours.

I haven’t gotten any work on the ePortfolio done, today, though I did review a key document, yesterday. I’m still dealing with not knowing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, so my energy is diverted to a task which is clearly defined (watch the lecture, read the book, etc).

Tomorrow will be the weekly produce run. After that, I’ll need to finish reading Chapters 3 and 4 of my book so that I’m somewhat prepared for the interview I’m supposed to give someone, of which I don’t know the content, yet. I’m still waiting on confirmation of whether I’ll even be able to talk to this person, yet, and it has to be done within the next two weeks. Even a, “no,” will mean that I can move on to another option.

Well — when I put it that way, it doesn’t look too bad. It’s actually closer to a week and a half.

Maybe I should be giving myself breaks to draw, and stuff like that. Even if it’s just, “I’ll screw around with a pen for 10 minutes and then get back to work…”

Revisions and new possibilities

About an hour ago, I completed a paper for Collection Development. Five pages of content, two of references, and a title page. I was seriously just happy that I got it in a half-hour before midnight.

Oh — and that I was just barely under the maximum word count!

It would be nice if I were able to deal with my ePortfolio, now that I’m back in the world of the living. I really, seriously, need to get over my intimidation on it and just start writing stuff out. It won’t get written if I don’t write it, that is.

The driving factor here, is time. I have two months left to get this done, and the more I don’t work on it, the more it’s going to feel like I’m taking three or more classes, towards the end of those two months.

Realistically, I need to submit an average of at least two essays a week — probably more, now that I’ve wasted two weeks being sick, and catching up on work I didn’t do while I was sick. But I’m only taking one other class; I have time if I have motivation.

The big thing about it is getting back into an academic mode, as versus a vacation mode. The good thing about being in Collection Development concurrently is that the second class is structured, and forces me to get out of bed and engage.

I’ve just taken a look at my ePortfolio, and I’ve realized that any foundational work that I can get done on any Competency, will be good. This is because it makes things vastly less intimidating when I’m not looking at a blank form. And I can always update and edit work that is there.

The other thing that has happened is that I’m using one of my memberships which I have heretofore ignored. It’s encouraging the direction of my energy towards Librarianship, though it also can be a time sink: I spent two days authoring something to help someone. That’s time I could have used, working on my ePortfolio. But it did help. It really helped me, too.

I have realized that I would be a very good fit for a Public (or Academic) Library position. One of my papers is on the intersections of Social Justice, Civil Rights, and Intersectional Feminism, and I found myself shifting back into that mode and speaking on diversity issues. Now I’m involved. 🙂 Ruh-roh. 😉

I have realized, however: I’m a very good candidate as a Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, or American Studies scholar, as versus or in addition to having possibilities towards Japanese-language/-diaspora Special Collections, and the possibility of becoming an Art Librarian. I’m thinking, though, that Gender Studies…might be more interesting, and might help the world, more. And I’m not convinced that I need to go back to my alma mater for it.

I still remember someone there saying that I couldn’t have an opinion on gender identity unless I had read Foucault, first. Which is just elitist hogwash. I kind of know something about gender identity, from, you know, having engaged with and lived the problem. Did he? (On that note, I probably don’t even need a degree in Gender Studies to be knowledgeable in the field. I’ve done Master’s level research. I’m in Library Science. I’ve written papers. I have some knowledge of Social Science. I have a grounding in Feminism. My fundamental grasp of the topic is apparent. I can deal with it.)

In comparison…the Web Design stuff is looking unimportant. Weirdly. Though right now I would likely have to work in either general Reference or Technical Services, given my skill set. I want to and may need to extend my reach deeper into Information Organization, however. That includes re-taking Cataloging.

Coming up…I will very shortly have an interview with a Collection Manager, and I need to read Chapter 4 in preparation for that (and I have been advised to read it more than once)…though this week’s Module just now opened up. Chapter 4 is just 30 pages, though — not a problem. I could get the first run-through done tomorrow, if I needed to.

I’m still waiting to hear back from my contact, though; I’m not even sure this will follow through. I might have to interview someone in a different system. Maybe I should get the contact information of an alternate person, from work.

Speaking of which, I’ve gotta be there in the morning. Maybe I should get some sleep and stop running myself into the ground. 🙂

Dreaming? Nonbinary feminine-to-masculine gender reassignment

So, new day. It’s been interesting, thinking on the gender presentation thing, but this isn’t the kind of problem that can be solved overnight. There are a lot of inputs that have been on my mind, recently…not all of which would be right to share, here, because they deal with specific people who are either in my life, or whom I’ve overheard.

One of the issues that has arisen is about seeing transgender positionality as an essentially privileged thing. I can see how the viewpoint would arise; I’ve noticed a definite trend in the demographic makeups of the genderqueer, nonbinary, gender-variant, and transgender groups that I’ve been in. But…I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that gender-variant identity is essentially White. For one thing, that’s not what I’ve observed.

For another thing, it’s probable that White TG/GQ/GV/NB people are more likely to be visible because of their relative ability to transition and relative safety in doing so; whereas TG/GQ/GV/NB people of color may already be marginalized enough so that they don’t feel capable of visibly taking on another stigma.

I know that in my case, I have enough stigmata that my life is pretty complex already, and this is without my changing to a male gender role so far as my public life is concerned. While I do think I would have been better off having been born physiologically male, a future of hormone administration isn’t welcoming…and, I’m looking at physically transitioning to a place where I’m seen as a Black male. A non-heteronormative Black male, at that.

Big deal with this: the U.S. has a prison culture. There are only a few males on the African-American side of my family who have not been in prison. I have not interviewed each of them about the circumstances which led up to their arrest; however, it’s well-known that police will target people of color over White people.

It’s also known that life inside a prison is violent and that rapes do occur, even in same-sex facilities. If it isn’t other prisoners, it could be the guards (particularly in a women’s prison). I don’t believe, if I were to be arrested for doing whatever, that I would be safe in either a women’s prison or a men’s prison (and I’ve had my supposed sexuality used as a weapon against me enough, already).

Which…just brings to light the lack of space afforded nonbinary people in this culture. Bathrooms, until relatively recently, have largely been either men’s or women’s; locker rooms and bathing facilities are men’s or women’s; apparel is either men’s or women’s.

It’s just one of those things. This is not to mention the surgical, “correction,” of those people who do not clearly fit into either the, “man,” box or, “woman,” box, which often causes lifelong scarring (I’m talking about psychological scars, but I would expect physical ones, too, from what I’ve heard and read).

Just in general, it’s a risky thing to transition. Especially if you’re not White. I have and had been attempting to hold solidarity with those people in history who have been gender-nonconforming and did not have the tools to be able to physically transform themselves. It doesn’t mean their identities were invalid, or nonexistent.

Now we have the tools, but society has not yet matured. For some reason, other people’s gender and sexuality are things that a great many people (not to mention, governments and the medical industry) want to control. I am not entirely sure why, at this point.

What I do know is that there is nothing at this point that requires that I change myself to, “make my outside match my inside.” My outside already does match my inside. My problem is that others see me, and the idea they get from my appearance is not at all accurate to who I am.

I would like a beard and a voice drop (just for myself), but the deal with that is that I’m likely to get hair all over — not just on my face. I also would likely get hairline recession, which I don’t want (it’s a reason I went on birth control — I was starting to lose it on my own), worse acne, and I’d lose my curves. I’m still not certain if I would be able to safely and comfortably bind for the foreseeable future. It’s easier after having been on testosterone, but I haven’t heard of it being a sustainable practice.

There is a possible in-between zone, where I could get a full beard and voice drop and then stop testosterone. I’d get back my curves (good? bad?), but then I’d still have the cartilage growth to deal with (which I can’t predict from here), possibly still hairline recession, and coarse body hair. It’s not that great a place to initially aim for, largely because it’s illegible to the vast majority of people…and people don’t like things they don’t understand.

The best-case scenario on testosterone is to get top surgery, stay on birth control or get a hysterectomy, get off of the medication that’s causing my weight gain, and become more physically active so that I can become buff. Of course, still maintaining my line of work (Librarianship) and my other plans for the future. It’s vastly easier to transition when one’s end point is…not something that makes one obvious.

And the fact is, still, that on medication for mood, anxiety, and detachment from reality — I’m essentially asexual, with a few rare instances of wanting to get close to certain people (but not really to have sex with them — a fact which people don’t understand, especially since I’m relatively open when talking about my body).

Also, I had been getting encouragement from one person who thinks I might do well on testosterone. The other day, I could see it. If I retained my long hair and got a beard and started presenting masculine, maybe with some eyeliner…yes, I can now see the possibility in that, and how it might make things make more sense in my life. I need to remember that I’d be transitioning to be a nonbinary masculine-appearing person, though: not to be a man.

On the other hand, there are a lot of other things to consider, like whether I’ll still recognize (or like) my own scent if I go on testosterone. I do know that getting top surgery isn’t anything I’m really hot on, because there’s nothing wrong with my chest. If I did get it, it would be, “because that’s what people do,” or for the sake of convenience and safety, or as a concession to other people. The first and third reasons don’t fly with me. For the sake of safety, though — that’s something different. And I would like to be able to be in public without a shirt.

(I did just remember that new eyebrow filler which will draw hairs on your face. That could be fun to experiment with!)

Why does it seem like my main problem in all areas of my life is having too many options?

Facial hair :)

So…you know how I’ve been sick?

I haven’t shaved my face for about a week and a half. It means I have about 6mm of hair growth. I don’t mean, “down.” I mean coarse hair. And yeah, it is the way nature made me, before anyone starts.

I kind of like being able to visualize a beard. The thing is, if I start testosterone to get more of that…I may lose some of the hair on my head.

And gain it on my cheeks. 🙂

I think I’m starting to understand what was meant by living your life the way you want to live it, because you only get one shot. (Even though, that’s debatable.)

I’ll see what I feel like, tomorrow. I suppose it isn’t like I’m ever going to go bald on my face…like, face-bald or something.

Unless I get alopecia. Could happen.