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By Robin Dearing

I sat in an uncomfortable chair reading a book of short stories on my Kindle. Some of the students stared at the image displayed on the screen while others laid down their pens and stared at the back of their eyelids.

Every 10 minutes I would change the image on the screen. Frantic writing, more staring at the screen.

I couldn’t get comfortable in my chair alternating between watching the students and reading my book. I ached all over, I was sick to my stomach, if I closed my eyes, I would fall asleep.

I gave my last final yesterday. I don’t know who was more relieved, me or my students.

I loved teaching this class, but it was getting exhausting.

For the last six weeks, I’ve been suffering from a virus. Walking up stairs makes me winded. My hands get tired when I’m writing lectures. I can’t sleep because of the pain in my joints, especially my knees.

It’s a virus, so nothing can be done. I have to ride it out. Rest and fluids. After 4 weeks, I start getting sad and worried and mostly sad.

I’ve had a couple of days when I felt a little better. But still I’m short of breath if I walk too far. I constantly need a nap.

Even for me, the girl who loves to lie down, I’m tired of being in bed, of being useless, of needing help from others instead of the other way around.

I continue on, working, resting, grading.

One more summer course and I’ll be done for a while. No more exams to grade, no more emails to read.


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Robin that sounds awful!  How long is it supposed to last?  Wow, I’m sorry.  Anytime of year is a sucky time to be sick, but spring I think is especially tough.

In adults it usually doesn’t last more than 4 months.

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