i gave my students a quiz the other day in which i asked what they thought was the cause of a certain character's ennui ... the novel was the awakening, one of my favorites; the character, edna pontellier, one of the most complex.
it occurs to me that i may be suffering from ennui this school year. in a way it's discouraging. i love my work, but i find i am frequently distracted, sad, and procrastinating more than usual. i'd like to think that like edna, i am experiencing an awakening, or will; and unlike edna, i will embrace it fully, and soar to new heights as opposed to swimming out to sea never to return.
the problems as i see them:
1. i love my grad school professor, but the reading is killing me with boredom! transcendentalism does not make up the entirety of american literature from 1810-1890! we will have spent all but three weeks on emerson, thoreau, fuller, lane, alcott, parker, etc. where is hawthorne? poe? melville? dickinson? whitman? my final project excites me somewhat because i'm using poe... but to date, we haven't even discussed him. witness: i have a paper due in a week outlining my final project... and we haven't even touched on the dark romantics. ugh. plus there's this really really obnoxious know-it-all person who dominates the conversation in class. i think the appropriate name for the course should have been: the transcendentalists with loud mouths on the side. i probably wouldn't have signed up.
2. i am trying to fit myself into new patterns and relationships at work; a fairly trusted friend turned out not to be quite so trustworthy - and some other people on the fringe of this relationship are now distant to me as well. things have changed, and i am saddened by most of it. somehow being at work doesn't seem as much fun as it used to- but maybe this is a good thing in the long run. my hope is that this will open me to new relationships and ideas; for now, though, i'm just kind of uninterested. ennui.
3. my health is bothering me. i'm very overweight, and don't seem to be able to commit to an exercise program of any kind. on the other hand, my neighbor talked me into walking a 10k this saturday. positives? i'll get to know her a helluva lot better, and maybe walking 6.2 miles will feel like the beginning of something new. oh how i hope so.
4. i'm too busy. i've always had a tendency to overcommit. boy am i feeling it right now. if i had a better attitude at work, it wouldn't faze me, but right now, all i feel is overwhelmed and under appreciated. this is totally my perspective, i realize, but feelings are feelings i guess.
okay... enough whining.... ennui, yes... but i suppose it's my choice in many ways, to change this. i'll keep you posted :)