Why did I get into a texting conversation about dysfunction?

Perhaps because I am the poster child. Self-proclaimed. And labeled.

When I was driving to work this morning, I thought to myself, “I need to work in a place with rules.” And then I started to laugh at myself. Why? So I can have more to break?

I consider myself to be a highly functional human being. I’m educated. I feed myself. I pay my bills on time. I vote. I go to work.

But within all of those functions lies a deep-seated DYSfunction. It’s a mockery of everything function is supposed to be. Almost to the point that when I do function normally it’s purely out of spite. It’s an exaggerated form of function which is meant purely to mock. To mock and entertain.

And I get away with it. Again and again.

And then I laugh.

It starts with my sleep, which is probably the most basic of human functions. You need it. It’s easy to do. Done, right?


Not in my world. I sleep in cycles–as we all do. But I sleep in week-long, 2-week cycles. Two weeks of four hours a night of sleep. Then, a week of that normal, 8-hour a night of sleep. When I’m sufficiently rested the game begins again.

Functioning well within the confines of function.

I laugh at people who say I push my students too hard because the degree to which I push them is merely a fraction of the way I push myself. I don’t like to stop until it’s absolutely necessary. It’s how I get things done. How I still manage to read and watch TV and teach the way I do. How I manage to read four drafts of 87 essays in a 2-week period. How I have the time to re-read the works of literature I assign 3 times before I assign them. And still have the time to read for “fun.” How I keep the chipper attitude, sarcasm, and thoughtfulness all at the forefront of my persona. The way I can personally greet 137 students every single day and know something personal about each and every one of them.

It’s a bizarre sort of functioning. It’s silly and exhausting. It’s a testament to some sort of inner drive and will that I don’t quite understand at all time. I simply let it flow through me.

And I laugh. At the label of dysfunction. Not because I’m mocking it–although I am–but because to function is so basically human that to do it within parameters that would crush your soul doesn’t make any sense to me.

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