Friday report: I can’t even believe this week

Dear Internet, I think coffee might be magic. I mean, I guess it’s technically a drug and lots of people think drugs are magic, so… the logical conclusion is that I should also try other drugs? Probably not (I’m really tired; there is a strong possibility my brain is not at 100%, or even like, 43% right now).

Anyway, listen to this week and then I will tell you why coffee is magic. (I mean, okay, chances are you already know, but whatever.) So, this was another week of mad intensity to crown the previous weeks of mad intensity, culminating in the final exam for one of my very favorite courses for my masters’ program this morning. Let’s cycle back to the start of the week to examine this madness properly – I feel like I will want to look back on this when I look in the mirror and wonder why I look way older and more decrepit than I should right now.

Monday: full day of teaching and translating PLUS (there’s always going to be a plus this week) 2 hours spent getting my new Italian ID, 1 hour spent packing for a business trip, 1 hour spent driving to location of said business trip (this was actually the most relaxing part of the day, even though my a**hole apple Carplay wouldn’t work), *and* (crowning achievement:) cramming in 1 hour of studying for my exam from 10.30 to 11.30 at night, thus getting myself into bed by midnight but also studying at least a bit. Win.

Tuesday: full day of administering oral English tests to kids (purpose of business trip) while translating and answering my own students’ emails during the breaks PLUS a staff meeting at 9pm (what the actual ****??? <– you can insert whichever expletive you feel happiest about here) *and* 2 hours of studying for my exam, this time until 12:30. Bedtime: decidedly un-good, but I was on a race against the clock to finish listening to all the lectures before the exam. (Not to mention finish reading the textbooks, type up all my notes as per my usual pre-exam study routine, and make a colorful diagram of Grimm’s Law and the Great Vowel Shift. <– Those are real things, I swear. Historical linguistics is top nerd status and I freaking love it.)

Wednesday: I woke up groggy due to light coming through the stupidly artistic but ineffective hotel drapes and also (bonus fun addition to my day) totally convinced it was Thursday. To the point where I forgot to cancel my usual Wednesday lesson and instead cancelled my usual Thursday lesson and texted a friend about always getting headaches on Thursdays. However, unlike this disastrous episode two weeks ago, I took an entire 1g of paracetamol/acetaminophen (the coveted coffee-flavored powder 1 g dose as opposed to the inexplicably strawberry-vanilla flavored 500 mg dose) as soon as I felt it starting and managed to get rid of it during the lunch break. This wasted my lunch break, but at least I was okay enought o also get in some translating and 3 hours of studying that evening. Bam! I also awarded myself a 30-minute walking break around the center of this city (Cremona – where Stradivarius violins are from!), in part to try to ward off headache-inducing neck stiffness, and in part because it seems a waste not to at least glance at the city while I’m here. Seems pretty – definitely will have to return with more free time one day.

Thursday: Actually Thursday this time. Decided to get around the light-coming-through-the-shades problem by getting up at 6 on purpose, in order to fit in 1.5 hours of translating before checking out of the hotel, driving to the exam site, testing kids for 3 hours (translating between the breaks), driving an hour back to where I live but actually to the university where I teach, eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the car (most relaxing part of day), teaching hybrid for 3 hours, driving actually home, wasting about an hour eating dinner/scrolling/catching up with partner post-business trip, and then studying. Bed by midnight, good job, self.

Today: and now we are going to get to why coffee is magic! So I woke up at 5, partially by design and partially because partner was getting up to work the morning shift, and I had the beginnings of a headache. I considered emailing my professor that I had a headache and that I would take the exam next time (which is a real thing in Italy, but a topic for another day). I waffled a bit, rolling around in bed and digging my thumbs into my eye sockets in that way that always seems like it ought to help a headache but never actually does.

I decided to get up and have some coffee and then take some Tylenol anyway, because I am totally over “just waiting to see if it gets better on its own” as far as headaches are concerned. (Spoiler alert: they basically never get better on their own.) And the reason that coffee is magic is that within an hour I was feeling not only better, but also downright sprightly! I sprang over to the table to furiously type up my notes… I made a half-assed attempt at diagramming Grimm’s law and the vowel thing… I reviewed some other articles… I half-showered (not my hair – who has time for that) and splashed some water on my face… I logged on and listened to the first two students make a total mess of things (I know, I agree – it’s totally awful that we all can/have to listen to each other, but again… that’s Italy!)… and when it was my turn, I miraculously presented my free-choice topic logically and coherently… correctly answered the follow-up questions on it… and was blessed with two other question areas that I had prepared well and thoroughly… and drum-roll! I was awarded my very first deserved “30 e lode” (maximum score + honors) in my Italian university career, and in one of my very favorite subjects!!!! Hooray!!!! I’m not even going to try to hide my excitement on this one because it’s one of my very favorite subjects and I so wanted to do well on it and I had such an exhausting week trying to prepare for it on top of an extremely busy work week… and then I actually did do well on it! Yay!

I enjoyed approximately 19 minutes of floating around the house texting my mom and my partner (they were both delighted for me), 5 minutes grabbing a well-deserved snack, and then got right down to translating. Took a blissful 40 minute walk break (finally! I got to enjoy the sunny spring weather and the breeze and the chirping birds and the blooming flowers guilt-free!). Then back to translating right up until I needed to leave to go teach (hybrid… god do I hate hybrid, but it went slightly better today), then a quick visit to the new house – they put the fences up! – and dinner with partner and best friend. Then packing and now I’m ready for a week in France with my mother and grandmother, now that we’re all thoroughly vaccinated. I can’t wait!!!

I declare victory over this week, and wish you all a good night!

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