This is the most wrenching line in this story, from my viewpoint:

“I haven’t written a new poem–or even revised an old one–in years. I become sad when I think about the fact that I  don’t have the creative energy, even when I may have some moments to spare, to  write about and for my daughter.”

I encourage you to read her whole story here:

“I’d like to write about what has brought to this overwhelmed point in my career and life.

I began in 1993 as a middle-school and then high-school English teacher. I was becoming frustrated with being in an environment that required more disciplinary and administrative actions than instructional engagement. One day, one of my senior students told me that I was too hard and should teach college. “Ding, ding!” went the bells in my head. So as soon as I got home, I called the department chair at the university from which I had received my bachelor’s degree to inquire about the department’s master’s program and
teaching fellowships. That next semester in 1997, I entered the master’s program and received a teaching fellowship.

After graduating in 1999, I began a full-time position at this university, teaching Developmental and Freshman composition classes. The grading began to take its toll on me, so I decided to begin pursuing my PhD so that I would be qualified to teach upper level courses. I entered a PhD program in 2001. Being a full-time instructor, I knew that this would be a slow process. After a few years in this program, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to write the dissertation that I wanted to, so I sought out another program. In the meantime, my husband and I began seriously talking about having a baby. At this time, I was 34, so it was “now or never.”

I got pregnant and was accepted to another PhD program. At this time, I was very eager to begin moving on with my career (the 4 and 5 composition classes each semester were becoming unbearable!), so I applied for and was offered the dual position of Writing Center director and instructor. My teaching load was reduced, but the addition of administrative duties certainly didn’t reduce the amount of work. It did, however, provide me with relief from so much grading and allowed me another teaching avenue: writing tutor training.

Now, my daughter is five years-old, my dissertation is three chapters away from being completed, and, according to my supervisors’ and students’ evaluations, I am excelling in my roles as administrator, scholar, and teacher. I like to think that I’m excelling at motherhood, too! While I enjoy all of these roles (mother and wife, administrator, teacher, scholar, and student), I don’t enjoy feeling simultaneously  overwhelmed and fragmented. What adds to these feelings are the extra academic and instructional activities required to possibly receive merit raises each year.

What I’ve given up to keep up with my professional and domestic responsibilites is my pursuit of creative works. I haven’t written a new poem–or even revised an old one–in years. I become sad when I think about the fact that I don’t have the creative energy, even when I may have some moments to spare, to write about and for my daughter.”

What do you wish you could say to this woman?  Write it in the comments box, please (and if it doesn’t show, click the comments link above).

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