This semester was too much.
While enduring a difficult teaching experience, I worried a lot about my wife. My wife is well, but she had plenty of medical exams and tests. It is true that you worry more about loved ones than yourself.
Teaching an overload schedule, with a new course and course I was refining, meant endless hours preparing materials and grading papers, even with teaching assistants and my wife helping. The hardest part was teaching three classes back-to-back, three days a week. It takes a toll on the voice and the mind.
Yes, high school teachers manage. Universities are different, though, so I believe the work evens out. Teaching is tiring at all grade levels.
I managed a few autism-related appearances and continued to work with a local nonprofit organization. I did my best to remain active while teaching. Still, I am not as active in the disability community as others might like. Readers of this blog know that I am not a non-stop activist.
What I needed was not more involvement or engagement, but less. I needed time to recharge and relax.
When I am asked if my life is different or difficult because of my traits, I generally say life is complex, period. My coworkers are at least as busy as I am, and many have families and other obligations. My life is actually pretty routine. I teach, I grade, I write a bit, and I dream of having more time for hobbies.
No more semesters like this. I want change again, but I'm uncertain what that change should be. Ideally, more time alone to create and to learn in peace.