school’s started up again and i’m back in teacher mode. it’s so interesting now thinking about my life during teaching and my life outside of it. i feel as if i exist in some alternate universe, some weird dichotomy of black and white during my year.
in the summer, i’m happy and free and social in the sunshine. i get to spend time with my friends. i laugh a lot. the boy is constantly around so that drama picks up where it left off and continues its ever winding tale of exhaustion. i go on runs and eat when i want to, i sleep in until the afternoon, i attend church camps and surround myself constantly with family, friends, faith.
during the year, i turn into this drained, worn out, thinned version of grace. i don’t socialize. i come home from work, i cook, i eat, i revise lesson plans, i grade papers, and i sleep. during the day i am constantly on my feet. i spend hours dealing with small children who have no concept of 1) literacy and 2) emotional regulation. i exist in this bleary fog of fighting, constantly, for them to learn, for them to grow, for them to behave. my knees and ankles ache from standing up all day. my back gets weird knots, sore and tender around my shoulders—i’m constantly dehydrated because if i drink too much water, i need to pee, and ya can’t do that as a teacher. there is no time for social life or boy drama or anything really at all. i stop talking to my family and my friends; all emotion shrivels. i hole up into a furrowed ball of effort, trial and error, trial and error. it’s very difficult but very worthwhile. then i wake up the next day and do it again.
i think it’s strange starting up this second year because i have time to think about it now. last year, i was so dead on my feet that i didn’t have time to reflect on the differences between teacher mode and non-teacher-mode. this year, i’m still tired—but also cognizant, coherent, of everything around me. i can see clearly now (the rain isn’t entirely gone, but enough so for me to see clearly now).
it’s such a shock to the system, this sudden change of lives, that i still can’t quite handle it.
Anne Enright, The Gathering
— Rainer Maria Rilke
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- Blue Swede | Hooked on a Feeling
- Raspberries | Go All The Way
- Norman Greenbaum | Spirit in the Sky
- David Bowie | Moonage Daydream
- Elvin Bishop | Fooled Around and Fell in Love
- 10CC | I’m Not in Love
- Jackson 5 | I Want You Back
- Redbone | Come and Get Your Love
- The Runaways | Cherry Bomb
- Rupert Holmes | Escape (The Piña Colada Song)
- The Five Stairsteps | O-O-H Child
- Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell | Ain’t No Mountain High Enough