Overwhelmed and overbooked

I have loved planning since I was a little kid (my mother can tell you about how I used to meticulously plan out our snow days and throw tantrums when she and my toddler brother did not conform to the plan) but sometimes my utter lack of realism is still astounding. Even to me. I guess I haven’t really improve much since my elementary school days of trying to impose my snow day plans on everyone? Not a great look, but here we are.

So, the plan for today started out quite reasonable: Tuesday is my masters’ degree day, so I have 4 classes from 11am to 7pm, with half hour breaks in between. Today, I also have about 2-3 hours of translation work that could be done before the first class starts, and finished up during the breaks (or, um, during the classes, which… is not ideal but has been known to happen). Also a couple of administrative things (like downloading and organizing bank statements from various banks to send them to the one bank issuing our mortgage) which can definitely be done while listening to a non-intense moment in class.

Good, right? I like Tuesdays! I carefully blocked them off from teaching so that I could enjoy being a student on Tuesdays, albeit from home. (Which is honestly not bad – dare I say that folding laundry while I listen to class even helps me concentrate better sometimes?)

Yeah. Then a professor I teach with approached me to do a translation for her. I always say yes to her because she is super nice to me in the teaching realm (very considerately looks after the interests of this poor, lowly, bottom-of-the-totem-pole freelancer). Okay. So that’s 6-7 hours of work. To be fair, I also had the weekend to do it, as well as yesterday, but the exact same thing happened to those days. So now I have to cram it in around the edges today. (Probably I will end up not listening to any of my masters’ classes that are being recorded, and doing it then instead. So much for being a student.)

So that’s a little ridiculous but still manageable. Then I decided to finally cram in this other work for a random acquaintance. Apparently needs me to do a voiceover in English on some video for his work. This is one of those cases where I so should have said no because doing translation-adjacent work for people who don’t regularly work with translators is annoying as crap. (Voiceover work really involves: 1) transcribing the audio of his video; 2) translating said audio; 3) recording the translation to make new audio. I personally only ever deal with step 2 and I only ever do it in my area of expertise. This is completely outside of my area of expertise, but he seems to feel we’ll just “sit down and do it together”. Sigh.)

The real problem here: a) I don’t know how to say no; b) saying no to people asking for favors is kind of awkward in Italy. Favors are, like, the primary currency that makes the world go ’round here. The thing is that, as stand-on-your-own-two-feet American, I basically never feel comfortable asking for favors… but I also don’t feel comfortable saying no when asked. So here we are! I’ve been trying to fit this guy in for, like, two weeks, and apparently I felt that a day when I was already at least double-booked was the right day to do it. Good job, me.

Oh, also there’s a 5-hour training program that I need to do for my Trinity examiner qualification. That’s due tomorrow. I will doubtless be full of boundless energy for that tonight. Or perhaps tomorrow morning. Sigh.

Photo: basically unrelated, but here is a photo of a cabbage + pancetta dish I made the other day. Decided to start ordering one random vegetable from the farmer delivery system (um. what is that even actually called? Why is my English vocabulary disappearing?) and then finding a recipe to try it with. Actually followed through! Yay! The recipe was decidedly mediocre. I was more or less okay with it; partner was not at all impressed. Much like this day, you can’t win ’em all, etc., but at least I tried.

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