Dec 21, 2010

The end of term, but not the end of work

For many professors, the end of term does not mark the end of work. Often, it's only the beginning. First, there are those pesky exams to grade. Next, the final grades need to be calculated. Meanwhile, students are demanding to see you because they've suddenly realized that their class contribution grade is abysmal (how that can be a surprise to people, I will never understand - I give them an interim grade and remind them every class that they need to contribute in order to get a decent grade).

Then, of course, comes the "real" work. The research that's been laying around for 3 whole months suddenly needs to be submitted to The Big Conference that'll be held next August. Deadline: January. Only academics would torture themselves this way by completely ruining any notion of a holiday/break after 3 months of teaching and student-induced headaches. 

In short, while teaching has been officially over since Dec 6, I've been busy. This week is no exception, and I even had to cancel a planned shopping trip for desperately needed Xmas prezzies in order to finish editing/revising a paper that needed to be emailed back to co-authors. My other two papers that require my lead, have been dead in the water for at least two weeks, and will need attention next week, during the Xmas-New Year "break". My goal is to get all of these things out before I go on maternity leave. At least I don't have to teach next term, because that would have started on Jan 3 ... not much of a break if you ask me, when my students' grades are due on Xmas day (yes, Dec 25th, seven days after the final exam), of all days.

In among all this, I feel like I'm visiting a doctor or hospital every other day or so. Last week I had Rhogam shot to mitigate potentially damaging effects of having Rhesus negative blood (if the baby is Rhesus positive). Sounds easy, right. But the hospital insists on a full blood panel first and so I found myself traipsing all over the building in my -40C snow boots, winter jacket and laptop bag in order to pull a ticket and wait (of course) to do a blood test first, then hike back to the "vaccine" place and wait there (of course), until the one doctor managing about 40 patients could inject me. My patience wore thin, I cried on hubby's shoulder to relief the tension but eventually it was done and we headed home.

This week, the visits consist of seeing my own doc, my osteopath/physio, and the hospital again tomorrow for a 3-hour information session on breast feeding. Next week, I have an ultrasound (perhaps baby's gender will finally be revealed!).

In the meantime, my PUPPP has partially returned, and I'm trying to manage it as best I can. Not taking baths seems to help, as does plenty of anti-histamines. My doc prescribed something new that is specifically for itchy skin and makes one sleepy (supposedly). I tried it last night and it seems ok except that I woke up groggy and with a dry mouth. At least it didn't give me hives like the Benadryl. I'm hoping that this phase of PUPPP is not as bad as the last one. I sure itched like heck for two days on my belly, wrists/hands and neck, but most of it has abated again.

Oh, and the baby still hiccups about 2-3 times a day. Awwww.

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