Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Today is my last official day I have off before I start various staff developments and then, inevitably, the school year. I'm not pleading for pity, people. I'm merely stating that I feel ready to pursue a life of leisure. You know, wake up around 9, read a novel until 11, bathe and start the day kind of leisure. I mean, what does a girl have to do?

In all honesty, I am totally aware that during the summer I come about as close to that as some people will ever get. And I'm really not complaining. However, any educator worth his or her salt can tell you how physically and mentally depleting a school year can get, and this last one (for me) was definitely a doozy. By the end of last year, if I dared to squint across the hot, rippling horizon of summer to the bank of this new school year, I literally shuddered. Sometimes a school year can be likened to the Looping Starship at Astroworld--a veritable bastion of steel that is capable of bringing exquisite pleasure and great pain. In my case, every time I strapped on the safety belt and pulled down the shoulder guard, my stomach would flutter as my anticipation of awesomeness would begin to build. Until the second loop. Inevitably, I would end up hurling violently into a trash bin as soon as I exited the ride.

In regards to last year--amidst the Reduction in Force, the shuffling, the class loads of 36 (or higher in some cases), the lack of resources combined with the general expectation of perfection (placed on teachers, but never students!), and the general apathy that teenagers generate amongst themselves--well, let's just say I didn't feel that I'd escaped that rollercoaster ride completely unscathed. And that is why we need this time to recharge and recuperate. It keeps us sane. So even though this year was tough, I'm oddly looking forward to a new start--a luxury I have every year.

You see, even though I knew that there was a likely chance if I got back on the Looping Starship that I would puke again, I never wised up. I crossed the threshold without trepidation. I jumped on, and I prayed it wouldn't make me want to die. And that's what I'm going to do now, metaphorically speaking. Except I think my odds for a more positive experience are actually greater.

And to my colleagues who feel my pain: Enjoy the ride.

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