Balance.

The worst part about being a teacher is grading papers. At first, I thought it would be fun. When I was a kid, I loved playing teacher, or sitting at my dad’s desk at the newsroom and playing journalist. During my student teaching, I’d take papers to the coffee house where I hung out and pretend I was doing oh-so-important work. The other customers might sometimes ask me, “Are you a teacher?”

“Training to be.”

“Wow. Good for you. I could never teach. I’d be afraid I’d have kids like I was in high school.”

Knowing smile with a twinkling eye, “Oh, I have plenty of those. Looks like you turned out alright though,” ah, ha, ha, ha. We all laugh and laugh together. Such noble work we do, we teachers.

I have so many papers to grade, I feel like showing movies for the next three weeks so I can have a chance to catch up on my papers. Problem is, I’d probably just get sucked into the movie. Plus I’d have to give my students some sort of assignment in order to make it an authentic use of class time and then I’d have even more papers.

I have two goals this year: 1) my students’ 12th grade English teachers feel I have prepared the students well, 2) my students feel like they worked harder than they’ve every worked in an English class.

I know one thing for certain. I’m working harder than I’ve ever worked. Maybe by second semester I’ll have a routine down and I can get back to a regular blog posting schedule.

Ah, who the Hell am I kidding? I’ve never had a regular blog posting schedule. I’m dropping the pretense.

I’m struggling with my depression and anxiety more than usual. Odie is struggling worse than I. We are too much alike. When we were contemplating taking our relationship from friendship to the next level, he expressed the concern that we don’t balance each other and would end up reinforcing each other’s flaws and faults. I don’t normally think of Odie as a prescient man. Boy, did he nail it. I can imagine the benefit of complementary personalities. One person balances the strengths and overlooks the weaknesses of the other. Together, they’re a team! I don’t have that. When I feel sad and hopeless, I wish I could count on him to tell me everything will be okay. I come home from work, he asks how my day went.

“I suck. Nobody learns anything. I’m a joke. What am I even doing in the classroom? I can’t teach. Everyone hates me. I’m so behind in my grading, I don’t even know where to start. Parents are going to show up with torches and pitchforks any minute now. OH, and I’m a shit mother. The kids don’t even want to come home from preschool. I have to spend twenty minutes begging them to get in the car and another twenty threatening them to. My parents should have smothered me at birth. How was your day?”

“Same.”

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5 Responses to Balance.

  1. Cathy Cann says:

    You nailed it.

  2. My husband and I are both the oldest of three same gender siblings. I’ve never had brothers and he has never had sisters. Our personalities as far as leadership issues are in sync. That said, I am Typhoid Mary, predicting all disasters and missteps. He rolls out of bed whistling. Things can be going badly, but he’s almost always sure that he sun will come out tomorrow. He can compartmentalize and enjoy one small area of life while the rest of the world falls down around his ears. I should be grateful that there is someone who can pull me from the muck of my funk, but…it usually just makes me crazy. I want someone to see just how doomed we are and, on those rare occasions that I am successful in poking a hole in his balloon, I’m terrified at what I’ve done. All this to say: I can’t be made happy…no matter what. And yes, I’m a total bitch.

  3. Lisa says:

    Eh. Balance is overrated. Of course, I’m just guessing, since I don’t have any myself.

    Hang in there.

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