October was so hard, so busy and difficult, that I felt despairing of this year. But things took a turn in November (at least I do hope it's a trend) and I believe I'm doing better.
This week I enjoyed my students, and I enjoyed teaching. I FINISHED giving standardized testing. We started the Civil War, and I have this unit pretty well laid out, so I'm not stressed. I introduced our next big project: a paper on the Civil War and the kids are excited about it. (!) And we're reading Huck Finn, and I love Huck.
I'm feeling more on my game now, and I must say that I'm pretty sure a primary reason for this is that I have found the source of my allergies. And eliminated them. (well, they're not all gone, but at least I can do away with the major problem now) I had really bad allergies most of October, and I'm sure some of it was fall pollen or whatever plagues us. But as it got colder (and I got out my sleeping bag rather than a blanket) I began to have more problems. Pretty soon I woke up with a swollen eye each morning, and I was pretty miserable.
The situation didn't clear until I left Atlanta...and actually spent three nights away from home. Then I was determined the problem was in my room.
So I spent a night on the couch with my sleeping bag. Problem not solved.
So Courtney said do you think you're allergic to down. Oh no, of course not. I've had a down pillow for nearly my whole life.
So, then I proceeded with my life until suddenly I remembered something. And it all came together. (ok, this is kind of embarrassing, so don't laugh at me. i really am a good scientist and had good reason to be convinced my allergies were confined to dust)
i have, as i said, used this particular floofy pillow for a long time. it's been a favorite. then (right about the time i developed a cat allergy probably) i began to be allergic to this pillow. i'm allergic to dust pretty bad, so when i was having bad allergies, i had cleaned everything else in my room and managed to narrow the problem down to my pillow. (see i am good with the scientific method) i was busy learning about my nasty dust allergy, and i learned that dust mites (which are very icky little bugs, especially blown up at 100x their size in a photograph) can be killed if frozen. so, i proceeded to periodically freeze my pillow. mother would open the freezer in the basement, and come up asking: so, um, what is that big white thing in in the freezer? ah yes. one night around christmas time i put it outside all night in the freezing wind. that did it i thought. then mother gave me for christmas a special allergen-free pillow cover. brilliant. no more dust gets in and the dead dust mites in there can just forget about it. it was like a charm: i and the pillow were happy again. ok, so obviously you can tell where this is going. that lovely pillow was down, and it wasn't really so full of dust mites. it just took me a really long time to figure it out.
i'm allergic to geese.