Friday, April 07, 2006

I have had better weeks

Have you ever had one of those weeks, where you think, "Man, I think I will just stay under the covers and not come out until it is over?" Yeah, me too. It was one of those weeks. I think the problem is that I have so many balls in the air, that I am bound to have a few land on my head.

My business is doing well, but the New Yorker (my business partner) is in New York visiting family. So the past few weeks I have been left with the delightful task of sending out and paying bills, talking to the tax accountant, building an Ikea Book Shelf (not as bad as B's schrankenstein, and the German did the work!), meeting with the graphic artist about the brochure, and . . . and . . . and . . . oh yeah and teaching 20 hours of English lessons a week.

University is about to start back up and that headache is coming back. My students send me Emails demanding appointments and wanting to sign up for oral presentations. Of coarse it must all happen RIGHT NOW. I remember what is like to be a student so I try to be patient. However, the University pays me 100 Euro a month. Yes, you read that right. If Germans wonder what is happening to their Universities, then they should take a look at those numbers and then it is not so shocking why people like me are fleeing. So I had my first office hours and had my first (male) student challenge me on the validity of my syllabus. This happens all the time as I am 1) young, 2) a woman and 3) an American. Why am I doing this again? . . . Right, so I don't waste that PhD that I got.

The German and I also did more house hunting and went to look at land. The good news - there is plenty of land, and we may be able to get a lot by the beginning of September. We are trying another bank on Monday. Let's see what they say about my income. I will not be telling them about the 100 Euro from the University.

So, the stress of all this has thrown my back into a tizzy. I have a sharp knot between my shoulders and when I lay down to go to sleep it gets enraged and I almost cry myself to sleep. I could go to the gym, but I usually opt to go home and sleep.

The German's vacation has been also thrown for a loop. Oma is not doing well.

Oma was diagnosed with colon cancer two years ago. She had surgery and they took it out, but did not follow it up with radiation or chemo. The cancer came back two weeks ago. Since then she has been in the hospital and the doctors are trying to figure out what to do. She finally had her surgery yesterday and they could not take it out. The cancer has wrapped itself around an artery. Because she is diabetic, they doctors are not optimistic about what chemo would do to her body. My mother-in-law called this morning to say that the doctors don't think they can do anything for her.

So, Opa is not talking to anyone and Oma doesn't want to see anyone. My father-in-law has disappeared into the garage and the poor German has no clue what to do.

Cancer sucks. My own grandmother (Phyllis Smith) passed away three years ago from cancer. My father had surgery in January to remove some cancer. And the poor German . . .

His uncle on his mother's side, his Godfather, Siegfried, has been battling cancer for several years. It has spread to his lungs and his brain. They put him into the hospital to make him "comfortable" this week.

Yeah, it has been one of those weeks.

BUT I TOTALLY forgot to mention that a crappy week is even worse when you have no heat. The German brought this to my attention after reading my post and making his usual sweet comment (I'm tellin' ya, I married me a good man). Spring is popping up all over the blogosphere, but it has some how it has missed C-burg. This week is actually froze several nights. And for three days we had no heat and no hot water. My landlord decided to install a new heating system. The appointment was in the calendar for weeks. Naturally, mother nature had to pull a "Don't forget me!" and remind us that she controls the temperature.


The German! said...

Yes Honey it is one of those weeks!.......Let´s see what next week will happen!

Mike B said...

I'm trying to think what is harder: In my younger days everyone seemed to pass away at or before 70, leaving us to deal only with the loss. Now most of my elder relatives living past 80, but are also developing various cancers, so that we must first deal with the pain they are suffering and then still with the inevitable loss. It is a cruel bargain.

My best wishes to you and the german for better weeks to follow.

J said...

I have to admit that I don't know who The New Yorker is.

Sorry you're not having the best week. Look forward to it being over and start the new week fresh.

Do you get any support when your syllabus is challenged? I get 100% support from my superiors.

Karl said...

Hi there. I see we're both doing the Lost Blogs challenge next week so I thought I'd check out your blog. I look forward to reading your entries next week.

Anonymous said...

Oh man I think your week may be one for the record books. On a positive note, things can only go up. I'm really sorry to hear about your Oma. I'll say a prayer for her and hope she comes around to the family. It really does help to have those who love you nearby.

And I'm sorry but 100 per month? I sincerely hope there is a typo there. But you gotta love a male student questioning you on day 1. Alas, the machismo of that encounter is alive and well here as well.

But yeah house hunting. I just looked at a house in NJ that has one less bedroom than I currently have as well as half the yard space and no fence. The price for this slice of heaven? $479,000....and I was told by my boss that it is a deal LOL who are these people? The trailer park is looking better and better :-)

christina said...

Oh geez. That's a lot of stuff for one week.

So sorry about Oma. My father-in-law was operated on for both prostate and colon cancer within the course of about three years and we're just waiting to see if any of it comes back. Very stressful. I really feel for you guys.

Good luck with the house hunting!

Dixie said...

Bless your bones, you've had a time of it this week, haven't you? Here's to next week being much, much better!

Fancy Laces said...

this blog makes me feel that it has been on Blog of Notes before.

EuroTrippen said...

Sometimes the reality checks life gives you are a real b^tch, but the one thing you can almost always count on is being reminded of what's really important. Family, friends, loved ones... those are the things we should never take for granted.

The rest, well, it's all just white noise.

In closing... sheesh, I can't believe how under-paid teachers are around here. We want the best for our children & ourselves, but if we continue to undervalue our educators we're going to see a mass exodus from those fields. What a shame.

Claire said...

Hi Mike. Thanks for the wishes. You are right. It is a tough bargain. The German and I talked about that for awhile.

J: I am sure it will get better, but after reading your post, I think I know why my week was bad - because yours was so good! I am glad one of us did :-) The syllabus thing is turning into an "issue." I definitly have a few posts about the German university system coming!

Karl: Are you ready? Me, not so much. I am doing a little reading about my person to get ready. I hope it goes okay.

E: Oy! That is one expensive slice of heaven. Do you really want to move to Jersey?

Christina: You know how it goes. Some days better than others. Actually the house hunting is turning into a nice destraction.

Dix: Thanks for the warm wishes. I love that when I read your posts that I can "hear" your southern voice. It is comforting and reminds me of home.

Flora: I have never been a Blog of Note. They are way better than me! I just checked out your site. Nice tag-line!

B: You are right. Family and friends. The white noise was just a tad too loud this week. Like I said to J, watch out for those University posts coming. Boy I want to give them a piece of my mind!

Lisa said...

{{{{{Claire-dude and Teh German}}}}}

MAN, you guys are going through it. :((( I don't know what to say. I will do what I can from this end in the way of good thoughts and prayers for things to ease up on you guys in the future, both for you and your loved ones. That you'll all have the ability to face what you need to face.