Memory Bank

My memory is starting to give out. Last year, I was able to keep track of everything that was happening in all of my classes without any trouble. Now, in all the classes for which I have two sections, I have mixed up at least something in each class. Of course, I should be keeping notes, and I’m going to start doing so again, but this distresses me. I also mixed up the bio of several well-known authors in an online crit group, have addressed people by other people’s names, and even gone to the wrong classroom for class.

(Though, for the last one, I should note that it’s one of those ridiculous classroom arrangements where on one day, the class is in room X of building A, and the next meeting during the week, the class is in room Y of building B. Except the pattern’s harder to remember, more like room Q of Building M and room F of building T.)

I suspect it’s just stress from my workload, since aside from my classes, and other duties (like editing ghostwriting articles for the school magazine), some editing work has finally materialized, but with tight deadlines. There are even expectations that I’m simply not fulfilling because I don’t have the mental space to get into and sit down and do them for the 20 minutes a week it would take, though it’d pay well for that 20 minutes. I’m just too helter-skelter to spare the processing cycles.

Plus, of course, that slight edge of uncertainty that has crept up on me because the uncertainty of whether the University’s new policies formulated in relation to a new national labour law are going to mean I need to find a new job and apartment for March. (Because jobs are gotten in November/December, and housing may not be provided, in which case I’ll need to find something during the winter, and all my savings will have to go into key money, which is a bummer.) And hell, I like my current job. I’d like to stay another year, as I thought I could. So there’s some anxiety and stress there, too.

That, and more personally-generated sources of stress, like my own self-imposed writing workload, or the way I don’t sleep enough. One of the reasons I came to Korea was to get teaching gigs that would allow me relatively more free time to write, but when you add up the stuff I do, it’s pretty surprising six three-hour classes can add up, when you add preparation time, grading, students visiting your office, and so on. Yet I’m not quite willing to stop working on writing during the semester, so I give up some sleep, or I just give up more leisure time and write. And the result? Stress, I guess. I love writing, but that doesn’t mean it’s a kind of work.

It is, however, a little unnerving when you discover that your grasp on facts is less than it used to be, even if it’s temporary. Not being able to remember things the way I used to be able to, it sucks. I think I’ll need to cool my engine a little.

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