The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Apologies, Explanations, and Updates

What a week. So much to say, I will try to be concise.  There is much on my mind, much of which requires caution and sensitivity, so I apologize for any obscurity.

To those I freaked out with my FB post about wanting to cry for hours, I apologize. I am emotional and I wear my heart on my sleeve. Just who I am, but it has been a rough week. A lot of it is just that I am a naturally empathetic person, which is sometimes to my detriment, but I am who I am.

To Barb who I have left with unreturned calls all week, I am sorry. It is midnight right now, and I doubt you'd appreciate a call this late. To Mo (and anyone else) whom I have left with hours between texts, I apologize. To anyone else I ignored or forgot, I am sorry. I am trying very hard to keep my head above water. 

I don't know how some people do so much so well, and I feel like I barely survive. The work week feels like a marathon to me, and each night, home feels like a quick water break. Lately, I don't even feel like I stop running in my sleep. I have a hard time sleeping and when I do, I dream lesson plans (not even kidding) and I wake up in the middle of the night for no good reason. For the first time ever, I am thinking of getting some sleeping pills. 

Our school received testing scores back from the big high stakes tests last May. I will not go into detail, but I will say I cried. How stupid is that? To cry over pencil filled bubbles. Geez. What is wrong with me... (no, I am not pregnant). 

The other sad thing, I haven't really felt comfortable writing about online, but I guess I just will. My cousins' dad has stomach cancer, and it is terminal. I will not pretend that we are close - we are not (he has not been married to my aunt for many years)- but being my cousins' dad, I have seen him at family events for years, and he is a very interesting, funny guy... and he will not be here much longer. I am so sad for my cousins and so sad to see him suffer. We went to his art gallery last night. It was wonderful to see all of his art, but emotional too. There was this one about his swim coach, that he painted three weeks before he found out he had cancer, and it was just... eerie. (His art in general is eerie- it is his style- but this was different). And then there was this one.... I couldn't stop thinking about it all night for so many reasons. It is called "The Mother and Her Crazy Girl." 

I don't want to put out that the week has been all negative. There has been positive. This week in teaching has actually gone really well. Like 90% of my lessons went as well as expected... or better. My honors group this year is constantly throwing me for a loop. I've never had a group of more than 40 students, amazing ones at that, and they rock my world. I have to RE-plan almost every day for them because they are unpredictable (in a good way) and the tangents are so healthy and produce so much learning that they are truly worth following. It almost isn't worth making lesson plans more than a day in advance. Drama, much thanks to the fantastic Janelle's tutelage, is going swimmingly. I feel like I am actually teaching real college prep style drama this year, yet I am pretty sure that everyone is having fun too. It feels great.

I also, as I mentioned Monday, was getting very overwhelmed by my desk this week. I never fully recovered from the mess that happened from when maintenance moved everything to wax the floors over the summer, but now, it is finally all starting to feel like it is coming together like I want it to. I stayed late today and didn't leave until the piles were completely gone, and it just made a big difference in how I feel about returning on Monday. Of course, many of the piles went into my giant accordion portfolio to work on this weekend, but at least it feels organized and manageable.

The other very positive thing is that Vinny seems to have made a 180. It was little-by-little with snotty comments Sunday and yelling and punishments on Monday, but he didn't get in trouble the rest of the week and by today was actually being normal, respectful, nice Vinny again. I let him watch a tiny bit of tv tonight before he fell asleep, and tomorrow, he gets back his CD player. It feels like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders with that one.

My house is a total disaster, and I have a million papers to grade, but I am still looking forward to a semi-relaxing weekend. I think I need to listen to more Bob Nesta... and remember that every little thing is gonna be alright. 

The only really sucky negative...we are broke. Wiped out. Boo. The only positive to that is that we are broke because we made the last payment on our Hawaii trip (It is less than two months away. Woo hoo!) and my tuition is due (Master's degree here I come, also woo hoo!), so at least it is positive stuff.

So, to all the friends I have let slide this week, I will try to call you this weekend,  I promise.   :-)

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