I taught all day today with an ear that feels like it has razor blades in it, that is stuffed and isn’t letting sound in, with my nose throbbing and congested, with almost no voice.
It was a day. It was a diet-cheat eat-almost-a-whole-large-pizza day.
And on a day like this, I feel like there isn’t a great deal to write about that will be cogent and coherent. But a deal to the self is a deal with the only person who can truly hold you accountable, so here’s today’s post. I’m going to reflect on something I didn’t feel like talking about but should.
I’ve been thinking about the optics of me lately. I hinted at this in my almost-entirely-satire post about DILFs and DUFFs earlier in the week, but I brought it up in passing in one of my classes today and feel like I should dwell on it a bit.
I’m teaching a class on streaming technologies, and the students in the class have to stream on Twitch as homework. I’ve been streaming a portion of their class as well. But I realized, today, that part of me is super uncomfortable in those moments because I know I’m broadcasting my fat face out into the internet.
I know I shouldn’t pick on myself. I know I fight people who make the same sort of judgments or attacks on other people. But I realized today that I’m not giving the camera feed pointed at me the attention I should because I don’t feel great about the little Phill head down in the corner of the screen.
I don’t think people give it much thought. I mean why should I care, right? I’m 40, I’m male, and I live in a society where there are other fat talking heads (I see you, Rush Limbaugh). It doesn’t ever seem to be an issue to my students, and while I suspect it has mattered to some of my fellow professors, no one has ever said anything.
What I think people don’t realize is that a person can be fairly well adjusted, and fairly happy with their life, and still feel all the pain of a lifetime of being teased. And it’s not like I lock up, or I cry, or anything like that. I just noticed that I’m not motivated to worry about my own self-video quality. And I need to be. I need to teach my students with best practices, even if I on some subconscious level avoid it to avoid staring at myself to color check and frame and all that.
I’m going to work on that this week. And the rest of the semester.
But there, a confession on a day filled with facial pain.
I hope I get well soon. My life isn’t going to slow down for me to be sick. Sort of like Jesse Ventura when chased by an alien hunter– I ain’t got time to bleed.