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.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Four days more...

      The lyrics to "One Day More" from Les Miserables are running through my head as I build my proverbial barricade and try to survive the next four days and somehow win this battle.  Let's hope it turns out better for me than for the students' revolution. 

     Thursday is opening night for Much Ado About Nothing.  I also have two papers due that night.  Fortunately, after spending six hours on it last night, one of them is essentially feeling done.  Thank God it was a paper on the benefits of the arts in education. Somehow writing about the intense language learning that happens while rehearsing Shakespeare made me actually believe that, even though I will pretty much not see my daughter until Saturday, I am doing something worthwhile with this next week... not just yelling at teenagers to "PROJECT!" 

     If you look up "Hell Week" on urban dictionary, you will find that the first explanation refers to that point around finals when college students experience various stages of distress and anxiety.  The third explanation referred to it as "the week of a theatrical performance, when the cast and crew practically live at school and communicate with their family members through notes." This made me laugh, as I glance at the jambalaya recipe I have taped next to the stove (annotated to remind my family of the pre-diced veggies in tupperware in the fridge). Like I said... building my barricade, since this week is "hell week" for me by both urban definitions. Ironically, I don't particularly like the term "hell week."  When Marc made reference to it yesterday, I commented that it isn't a term I normally use, since "hell" indicates "bad," when the results of hell week are often rather good.  Some of the best work gets done when you turn up the heat (no pun intended). 

     And so, this weekend, I have attempted to build the barricade by making dinner plans and stocking the fridge and freezer so my husband and kids don't resort to drive-thrus, by straightening my hair so I don't have to think about how crappy it looks when I wake up in the morning (although it inevitably still will), by attempting to finish the papers early, by setting all the bills that are due to pay automatically, and by watching Smash to remind myself that even theatre professionals feel like everything is falling apart. 

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