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I submitted this blog entry to AdjunctNation.com about twelve days ago and have yet to hear anything regarding its posting. So, I’m posting it here.

***

I had been dealing with intermittent blurry vision in my left eye for about two months. It wasn’t too annoying, and it usually went away after a few minutes. I was hoping it would continue to be a minor nuisance (or go away) until the end of the semester so I could properly deal with it without having to cancel any classes.

 

This was not to be.

 

Two weeks before the end of the semester, I was doing some grocery shopping. I came around the corner to see what yogurt was on sale and I lost complete vision in my eye. I couldn’t read the expiration dates on the yogurt. I moved to the checkout, hoping my vision would clear, as usual.

 

It did not. Driving home was interesting.

 

After hours of crying, my vision slowly cleared. I knew I couldn’t wait until the end of the semester to deal with this. I made an appointment with my neurologist and canceled my classes.

 

The sad thing is I was more worried about canceling my penultimate week of classes than I was about my vision. I had had an attack of optic neuritis before (I have MS), so I figured I would go on IV steroids and it would clear up and everything would be fine. I was, however, worried that I wouldn’t be hired back for canceling a week of class meetings at the end of the semester.

 

It wasn’t optic neuritis. It was (it is) Ohthoff’s Phenomenon (we think). Not only did the steroids not help, they made me nauseated, a side effect I’ve never had before (I’ve been on IV at least once a year since 2007). I spent four days in bed (not grading). The whole time, I was so worried about the security of my job, worried that I was failing the students, worried that I was inconveniencing everyone. The (very real) possibility of a blown vein barely crossed my mind.

 

The worry probably made me sicker than the steroids.

 

It turned out that my worries were unfounded, at least at one school. A colleague expressed her sympathy and just wanted me to get better. “Your students will understand,” she said. It concerns me, however, that I felt it was necessary to worry at all. I was having a legitimate medical emergency, after all. I wasn’t canceling classes for a girl’s weekend in Vegas. But the instability of the adjunct contract is so centered in my thinking that I will teach classes with strep throat rather than cancel (and that’s not hyperbole). I don’t want to appear undependable.  I don’t want to remind anyone that I am expendable.  I do, after all, need the money to pay for insurance so that I can go to a neuro-ophthalmologist to figure out why my peripheral vision is still blurry and if I will ever get better.

 

Good thing it’s summer; I won’t have to cancel classes for the appointment.

 

 

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Invitations

When I was a girl, my mother had a simple rule with regards to parties: I had to have a paper invitation in order to attend. I’m not sure what the reasoning behind this was; probably some simple way to make sure the parents were aware that their child was having a party. Because a ten-year old couldn’t write up a fake invitation.

In my early teens, the tradition of paper invitations was quickly going out of style. Invitations were verbal; they were in the form of phone calls or wide-ruled note paper shoved in a locker. This made my mother’s rule difficult to follow. But I followed it.

Eventually, Mom gave up on the rule. I was relieved; it made attending casual parties much easier.

Of course, now invitations are sent as evites via Facebook or email. I’ve heard that some people are even sending wedding invitations in this manner. I wonder how my mother would have dealt with this phenomenon with this rule of hers.

Just musing…

The Sweet Life

P1The Sweet Life Bakery, located in downtown Vineland, NJ, made our beautiful wedding cupcake tower. My husband and I have enjoyed many breakfasts, lunches, and afternoon coffee and scones there. They have the best hollandaise sauce I have ever tasted.

However, just like many businesses, the economic downturn has forced them to reduce their business. Starting the week of February 16th, they will only be open for retail business Fridays and Saturdays so that they can focus more time on their cake business (the aspect of their business that is profitable at the moment). That means they will no longer be serving breakfast or lunch, but we can still get a great cup of coffee and some pastry on Fridays and Saturdays.

I wanted to post this in hopes that my friends in the area might continue to support them. They are nice people and have always treated their customers well. I am hoping that they will be able to once again serve breakfast (I will miss that hollandaise sauce) once things turn around.

So, if you are ever in the Vineland area on a Friday or Saturday (they close at 2 on Saturdays, but they are open until 6 on Fridays), stop in for some coffee and a carrot cupcake. Also, they are starting to host cooking classes on Thursday nights.

When I was first diagnosed with MS, every health care professional warned me against the heat of summer. We happened to have a nice heat wave shortly after I was released from the hospital, and I reacted poorly. Of course, so did everyone else. But, the idea that heat and MS flair-ups were linked was fresh in my mind.

Fast forward five years. The Present.

I’ve had nearly five full winters to generate data points, and, much to my confusion, it turns out the cold agitates my MS more than the record-setting heat we had last summer. My arms and legs feel like they’ve recently been electrocuted. (Those of you who stuck things into outlets as children know this feeling; a strange ache that isn’t really pain, but it remembers pain. There’s not much that can be done about it.)

The ache in my arms makes typing this a bit awkward. So, I’m going to stop now.

See, I’m updating! 

I am obviously not so good at this whole blogging thing. I wonder if I will actually get into the habit of updating at least weekly. I’m thinking I may have to treat this like a third job. The kind that doesn’t pay with money. The kind I have no business having. But the ability to share and express oneself is its own payment. Right? No? Yeah, I’m not convinced, either.

I’ll work on the believability later. For now, however, I have finally created my own custom banner for the blog. I’m still deciding if it is something that I like. I spent so much time trying to create a banner, and I decided that I wasn’t allowed to blog until the banner was done. Now it’s done. But I don’t like it as much as I thought.

Which is why I’m posting. I’m afraid that if I let the banner continue to bother me, I will never get this damn thing going.

If you have a comment, I would like to hear it regarding the banner. But no comments about anything else. Just banner related. I’m not ready for anything else just yet.

And so it begins…again.

Almost a year ago, I decided that I would start blogging. I had three posts over four months. Recently, I decided that I wanted to have a fresh start, and here it is. I have several friends with lovely blogs, and I am envious. So, I begin. Again.

bluchickenninja.com

graphic designer, bibliophile, spoonie

I Will Start This Blog. I Mean It!

Adventures in cranky essays and rhyming poetry from an unlikely single mom.