rivka: (her majesty)
[personal profile] rivka
I am alone in a hotel room. Except for the steady hiss of the climate control and the hum of the mini fridge, it's very quiet.

The last time I was alone in a hotel room, it was part of a last-ditch effort to feel like an academic career was meaningful. I went to an HIV conference in Miami Beach. On the one hand, it was stimulating; on the other hand, I felt like a poseur. I had not been working well, or connecting with academic life well, for a long time by then. In my hotel room, in the evenings, I felt scared.

Now I am just bone tired. I drove from Baltimore to Richmond VA today, in weather that progressed from "wintery mix" to driving rain as I headed southward. I was late. So I arrived with not a single particle of transition time, changed into business clothes in a stall of the ladies' room, and then stood at a table promoting myself for six hours straight.

I'm here for the VA Homeschoolers convention, which draws about a thousand homeschoolers from Virginia, DC, and Maryland. I have a vendor table for my homeschool-focused psychology practice. This weekend, about a hundred of them will come up to my table and listen to my pitch:
"As far as I know, I'm the only psychologist in the country who focuses on homeschooling families. I do that because I homeschool my own kids, and I know that for homeschoolers, when you feel that something is not quite right about your child, it can be very uncomfortable to go to a mainstream professional. Because you don't even know if they're going to get it."
Sixty or so people will take my brochure or my card. Thirty will tell me a story about their kid or ask me questions. Perhaps twenty will fill out a consultation card asking me to call or e-mail them after the conference. I need to eventually book three hours of work to break even. (I paid a table fee, rented a car and a hotel room, bought gas and food, and hired a babysitter.) Three hours of work equals one IQ test for giftedness and one consultation, or 30% of a learning disability evaluation.

At 7:00 this evening, twelve hours after my day started, vendors were allowed to leave the exhibit hall. I found my hotel. I had a couple of tasty enchiladas verdes and a couple of Negro Modelos at the Mexican restaurant next door. I walked back to my room. Now I have about twelve hours to be quiet and alone before another eight hours of solid self-promotion.

I often fantasize about staying alone in a hotel, actually - the quiet, the cleanliness, the lack of responsibilities to other people. In my fantasies, though, I don't start out this depleted.

Date: 2015-03-21 02:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] janetmiles.livejournal.com
Wow, that's a long and difficult day. I hope your quiet evening is restorative, and that tomorrow isn't quite as draining.

Date: 2015-03-21 04:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carbonel.livejournal.com
I hope the conference turns out to be productive and worth all the hassle.

Date: 2015-03-21 06:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hobbitbabe.livejournal.com
I hope you are sound asleep between crisp sheets and wake up remembering that you can do this.

Date: 2015-03-21 12:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rivka.livejournal.com
I actually do enjoy these events, and I think they're valuable. They just wear. Me. Out. The perils of being a self-employed introvert.

Date: 2015-03-21 05:28 pm (UTC)
kiya: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kiya
As I ponder taking a course from self-unemployed itnrovert to self-employed introvert I ponder these sorts of things and say, "Yes, that will be hard and worthwhile and I will sleep for a week after I do them."

Date: 2015-03-21 08:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rivka.livejournal.com
Ah, but the particular joys of being a self-employed introvertparent... When you come home from an event, everybody needs to glom on to you because they MISSED YOU.

Date: 2015-03-21 08:34 pm (UTC)
kiya: (mama)
From: [personal profile] kiya
Hah, I get that if I spend the afternoon in my room!

"MAMA I HAVEN'T SEEN YOU!"

I'm wondering how many cries of "I missed you!" I'll be getting once Thumper is no longer an inner child and I vanish into infant wrangle haze....

(Whee, all the supplies have now been sorted.)

Date: 2015-03-25 11:55 am (UTC)
ailbhe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ailbhe
Oh, gosh. I hope you get to spend a night alone in a hotel *without* 24 hours of paid-or-unpaid work either side of it, soon.

Date: 2015-03-26 12:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] selki.livejournal.com
I hope the rest of your weekend/convention went well!

Date: 2015-04-06 02:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johnpalmer.livejournal.com
Oof. Yeah, I can see the tiredness digging into the fantasy-level of the stay. I hope the next day went well, and that you've had a swift recovery!

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