Bouncing Off the Walls

It’s been a merciful blessing so far– I’ve been a fulltime student now for two quarters, and I’ve been able to do almost all of my coursework remotely. Live-streaming lectures, internet, online test-taking- these things are all windfalls to mothers going back to school while still solo-parenting. I am so incredibly grateful.

There is one small pitfall however: Isolation. Sure, I get to take part in discussions, meet with my professors, and roll my eyes at the idealism of the 20 year olds- but most of the time, I’m still at home. My life revolves around three little people, and school- a great deal of which takes place with books piled on my kitchen table. Those books and my laptop are shoved aside briefly for meals, but are soon back overflowing from my little kitchen.

So sometimes- well, at least lately- I find myself bouncing off the walls. This last week, I had three Lit assignments. One was a DH Lawrence story about a mentally ill little boy with a cold, removed mother, and it ends with the boy dying, another was arguing Secular Humanism with Salman Rushdie, and the third was analyzing a seventeenth century poem. The poem was a snap. The other two threw me for a complete loop. Reading the Lawrence piece, I couldn’t swallow the tears and agony, and I was completely ineffectual and deconstructing the literary devices used. And reading Rushdie, well, one cannot argue with him- all of his points are logical, scientific, and make perfect sense…. but. But, but, but… as a person of faith, I can agree with all of the logic in the world, except that I’ve had experiences that do not bear explanation and that have no earthly logic behind them, which I cannot and will not ever discount. Yet, I am aware as a logical (sometimes, come on) person, I see how this looks to a a skeptic. And I was already such mess from the Lawrence paper, that I completely tanked. I got my first really bad grade.

Sometimes, I think being at home with small children all day, every day, forever and ever and ever… oh, wait… no? That’s only what it feels like? Yeah, I know- but right now, Jeff wasn’t much help with the Secular Humanism thing, and Bean just made me cry every time I thought about the Lawrence theme of a cold mother making her son insane. Yeah, I know, I know. But it was heavy, and I didn’t process it very well. Sometimes I miss hanging out with grown-ups.

6 thoughts on “Bouncing Off the Walls

  1. I love the Rocking Horse Winner. I am pretty sure my mother was trying to make us insane.

    Since I homeschool my four and have one on the way, I completely understand the isolation. Luckily I am a homebody. Unluckily, my boys are not.

  2. So does the classwork make the isolation worse? Here I’ve been thinking that actually using those parts of my brain would be a good thing…….

  3. Em, I think if I were in a situation where I was on-campus and mixing with other adults all the time, it would be different. The isolation comes from doing most of my work at home- school work and regular life of being a single mama. That’s not to say it’s not worth it- it totally is, and I’m going to keep right on going. But it’s hard.

  4. I feel it too. I wrote a paper for History of Psych and it was so difficult to switch between, “Stop putting playdough in your nose!” to “The DSM-IV-TR describes RAD as ‘Markedly disturbed and developmentally inappropriate social relatedness…'”

    Because of this I am always amazed at how well you are doing in your classes. The isolation is difficult but it will make our degrees that much more prized!

  5. I, too, am amazed at what you’ve been able to accomplish. Doing what you do without the school part is amazing. Add in the school part and I am not worthy to carry your diaper bag. Not that you carry a diaper bag anymore, but it was the only motherhood icon I could come up with at this late hour. Good thing I’m not in school!

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