what is this for, these months?
i never used to drink, but i drank 3 liters of liquor this year and now i'm trying not to drink anymore (aided mostly by no longer having any more to drink), but i must be an alcoholic by now because i am jittery without it.
BLAH, ok, wallow away, stupid boring depressed self/thanks, saved lj draft. Today i am feeling, for the first time in months, Not Depressed. That is, I did not cry today. I feel awake (maybe a little too awake). It's 30 days before I leave this country, and I packed a bag that I will no doubt unpack again. Of course I am wondering what it is all for, as I do over and over again because I am a Ruminant. Today I took six students to an art gallery after class (I am leaving early, you know, because the semester actually ends Jan 18 -- field trips with students are one way that I am making up for missing 2 weeks of teaching) -- spent the better part of an hour talking about a few cardboard boxes with them. One kid wanted to know if I had a boyfriend. Ha. (But why is that necessarily off limits when in the course of teaching languages, one is constantly asking students to reveal the details of their private lives?)
I asked them if they had ever been outside of Taiwan, and most of them said no... one girl said she had been to Green Island -- which is... part of Taiwan. And I realized (as I often do when talking with my students) that I have lived a life of total privilege (and as usual how dare I ever be unhappy, when I have had everything anyone could ever want?).
Our department had a conference a few days ago, while everyone in America was having Thanksgiving. This was an oddly wonderful way to spend those days. It was the most English I had heard continuously for the entire length of time I've been here -- also the most extended actual talk about literature -- and for that reason alone it was refreshing, even though I was basically semi-comatose and spent every minute not physically in the conference room sobbing my eyes out on the floor of my apartment. I presented old work, which made me feel guilty. I haven't been productive, which is the worst absolute worst worst worst sin. But they liked it. Actually, five people have asked me for copies of the paper -- including one of the keynote speakers, who actually took me aside after the conference and told me it was my VOCATION to write (i have very mixed feelings about this because i think at one point it was very much a part of my identity, until being silent and dead to the world took that place; also, he did not know it was old work i was presenting, so anything he had to praise was for a younger different person -- if anything, i do not WANT to die a person who was only "full of potential" because that is just pathetic).
I have a lot of guilt about leaving. I have lived in my beautiful cage without suffering anything that wasn't invented in the sick brew of my own head.
also today I saw a mass of people I know winning NEA grants. and I am truly delighted and happy for them. These are people who weren't afraid to do the work that they thought was worth doing, which is something I have never been able to feel about myself.