Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Sai Kang

I haven’t been able to blog for the past week or so. For various reasons.

1. I’ve had nothing to say.
2. I haven’t done anything or seen anything worth blogging about.
3. My brain’s been working on a ‘safe’ mode to keep it from exploding.
4. I’ve been averaging 3 hours of sleep a night.

It sure sounds like when I was teaching. When it was grading season and the amount of work was an avalanche and rather copious. And when at the same same time, the kids are ill and the sky is falling over head. At that point, all systems shut down and only the emergency back ups with the really dim lights were on.

And that pretty much was what last week was like. No, I did not go back to work.
I was doing some sort of work though. A friend needed some help to do something akin to brainless data entry. Lend her a few days, bail her out of a rut and get some spare cash from it. Sounded easy enough. But it came in the thousands and the deadline was within a few days. That meant, a huge chunk of time even though it was the most intelligent and stimulating of work, it was work that sucked time,energy and my soul.

I’m glad I’m done with it. When I was done with it, after a last burst of adrenaline to do damage control on some of it, I felt freed. Freed the same way I felt after major exams. Mine, not my students. Or after I’d written my dissertation at the end of my fourth year. But that wasn’t right. It wasn’t something that important or life impacting. It was just menial work on a dime. It didn’t pay. It sounded a lot on paper and it sounded easy on paper but it wasn’t.

At the end of it, the thought that kept resounding in my head was “geez, I actually found something I hate more than teaching”. No, I’m not about to wax lyrical about teaching and it’s going to take a lot more to convince me to go back to it, but this was bad. And I learnt a new phrase from the entire experience. “Sai Kang”. In dialect. Which literally means ‘shit work’; work that no one wanted to do, work that was a shitty deal (pun both intended and unintended. )Which it was. And I also learnt that when you got out of it in one piece and intact, you were a Sai Kang warrior.

That I was.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 13:38

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