Purposive Rambling

the journey is the reward.

Posts Tagged ‘stress

A Vacation I Didn’t Ask For

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Tuesday evening I noticed a tightness in my chest, and I found myself coughing a bit. I told Jon that I thought I was coming down with something. By the middle of the night I was shivering with fever, and by the morning I was vomiting. I have been absolutely miserable for the last three days. I can’t even remember the last time I was this ill. And I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten so sick so fast. It just came out of nowhere. I am finally done with the fever, and now I’m just dealing with some lingering body aches and plenty of sniffles and sneezes. Jon’s been a good nurse – feeding me chicken noodle soup and Gatorade and Sudafed. I’m crossing my fingers I haven’t passed anything onto him. Now that I’m starting to feel better, I suppose it’s time to start catching up. I feel so behind after taking these days off to rest. I don’t even know where to start really. Stupid flu.


Written by Lisa

November 6, 2009 at 7:40 pm

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A year later, all is well.

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One year ago today, we bought our first house. We searched for several months and visited ten to twenty houses before we saw this one. We both loved it. It had charm. It had a story. And it was in the heart of a great little town, Franklin, Indiana. We were so excited to live there and be part of that community. We made plans to renovate several parts of the house to make it a bit more modern. There was a nice little backyard where I hoped to start a garden. There was a great front porch that had a view of the courthouse. There was a running trail and park right down the street. It was exactly what we were looking for.


We spent two nights in that house. My parents came up to help us move in. Jon helped my dad install a new shower and sink while my mom and I started painting. It had been raining that whole week, and on June 7th, we woke up to several inches of water in the basement. Water came in the basement of the house I grew up in from time to time, though, so I knew this wasn’t something to get too concerned about. We had a sump pump, and it was going. The rain would stop and it would catch up. No big deal. Throughout the morning the water was steadily rising, but not so much that we were alarmed by it. And then all of a sudden, I looked out the window and the backyard was flooded. It was so shocking to see. It just seemed to come out of nowhere. My dad was able to run out and move our car to the top of the hill down the street, and by the time he was coming back the water was rushing across the street hard enough that pavement was being peeled up. Within a matter of minutes, the basement was full of water. We moved as many boxes as we could to the attic, and then we went up to the attic and waited for the rescue crew.


After a very scary boat ride across the street/river, we sat with our neighbors for hours until another boat came to take us out of the area. Here’s a view of the front of our house at the height of the flood:


This past year has been full of inconvenience, tears, stress, and just a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s been rough. But luckily, we had flood insurance, and financially, we’ve come out on the other side. We just recently were able to pay off the mortgage with insurance and donate the house to the city of Franklin. But, we’re done with homeownership for awhile. We’re now renting in downtown Indianapolis, and we love it. Yesterday there was a story about us on the front page of Johnson County’s newspaper, the Daily Journal, that sums up our “recovery” pretty well.

DJ 6.4.09_1

DJ 6.4.09_2

A few days ago, we were even able to enjoy watching a thunderstorm from our big eighth-floor windows. I started to feel a little sick once we heard on the news that there was flooding and hail damage up north. But it was empathy for others rather than personal worry about going through another disaster.


I’m curious about how I’m going to feel on Sunday. I still have this nagging, irrational concern in the back of my mind that maybe we’re cursed and something terrible is going to happen again on June 7th. Last summer we went to the Mt. Comfort Air Show, and I’d love to go again. But it’s this weekend, and I told Jon that I was afraid to go because a plane might crash if we’re there.

My birthday is on Monday, and since last year we didn’t really get to celebrate, Jon splurged and got us tickets to see Wicked on Sunday night. At first when we saw that we had great seats I was excited. But then I got a little nervous when I realized we were in the middle of a row and so far away from an exit because the place might burn down during the show if we’re there! Crazy, I know.

Anyway, this post is a lot longer than I’d planned. Mostly, I just wanted to say that a year later, here we are, moving on, all is well finally.

Written by Lisa

June 5, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Test Anxiety (from the other side of the desk)

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Last Tuesday I gave my first exam. I’ve proctored plenty for others, but this was the first time giving an exam that I wrote. I put a lot of time into writing the questions and thinking about what I expected from the students. But I was not ready emotionally for it. In fact, I didn’t even think about the fact that I might have emotions about the exam.

After I handed it out to the students and they got started I realized that they were really stressed about it. They had a lot of pained expressions on their faces. I started to get anxious. As more time passed, I got more and more anxious. It was partly on their behalf, but not totally.

I expected at least a few students to finish the exam very quickly. It seems that there are always a few who blast through it. But they didn’t. The first student to finish did so about halfway through our class meeting. I had a moment of relief thinking he would start a chain of students finishing. But, no. Most others didn’t finish until there were only about ten or fifteen minutes left. When I said “time’s up” there were still about ten students in their chairs.

So this whole time I’m worrying about them not finishing and how I’ll handle that. I’m worrying about whether it’s too difficult and what they’ll think about it. And will they judge the entire course according to this exam? Will they judge my performance as an instructor according to this exam?

It was just a little too much to deal with. It was so unexpected.

The good news is that they did finish, and generally, they did very well. In hindsight, then, I think I succeeded in making the exam challenging but not impossible. And I am glad that they took it seriously and did not rush through it. They did report feeling like it was more difficult than they expected and that they felt a little rushed. So the next time around I might tweak things a bit, but I’m glad that I don’t have to start back at square one.

Written by Lisa

February 15, 2009 at 4:13 pm