Whiny post

I have had two mental states available to me this week: Angry and Tired. Worse yet is the pervasive feeling that I’m going to be stuck here for some time; while 2021 is the first year in at least the last five or six that has no claim whatsoever to the title of Worst Year of my Life, the cumulative effect of all of that shit combined with 2021’s own unique shittiness is outpacing my ability to deal with it. The fact that I made it to work all five days this week without seriously considering staying home for any of them counts as a triumph; I spent all week covering classes during my preps, and I know for an absolute fact that two of my teachers who were out this week were out specifically because of stress-related health issues.

I think I’ve written about the rash of kids lately trying to get switched into my classes from the other math teacher’s class; I discovered this week that I have fifteen more students than he does, which sounds unfair to begin with, a situation that does not get any better when I point out that two of his three groups only have fifteen students in them. So the difference between our two student loads is equal to one of his entire classes, and yet somehow on Thursday I had a transfer student added into my 3rd and 4th hour class, which is my murderer’s row. And not to belabor the point about being tired of things, but I am also tired of having to have conversations with our school counselor about stuff that should be obvious, such as when one teacher has fifteen students fewer than the other teacher who teaches the same classes, that teacher is the on who gets all the transfer students. He and I have the exact same schedule so there’s no argument to be made that any given student has to be in one of our classes and not the other’s. Every new 8th grader who comes into the building needs to go into his classes until our class loads are even. Every single one.

Next week is only two days long, and the following Monday is an e-learning day, so at least I have a break coming. I can make it– of course I can– but finding a way to get my mojo back would be super.

The little teacher that probably could, he thinks, maybe

I think I can I think I can I think I can I think I can I think I can I think I can

Literally all I have to do tomorrow is administer the PSAT and be present for (not even really “teach,” it’s the last day of the quarter on a day when I don’t see either of my other classes; no one is expecting pedagogical brilliance here) one single class, on a day before a five-day break where the kids know they’re going to be expected to take a four-hour test and thus will probably just stay home— I bet attendance tomorrow sucks. And then I have a teacher record day where I already have most of my grading for it done, then a four-day break. I can do this. If I didn’t kill anybody today I can make it through a standardized test with my homeroom on a day where I don’t have to see 3rd and 4th hour. Surely.

Yes. Surely.

In which I am defeated

There’s no other way to describe it: the kids won today, and by “the kids” I mean the worst elements among them, as I continue to genuinely believe that most of my kids want to be in school and want to learn; I just can’t get to them because of the number of kids standing in the way and spending all of their energy on trying to trip me up.

I am tired and angry and beaten and I need to get up tomorrow and do it all over again, and I’m going to, but right now … fuck it, I’m done.

On social interaction

Like many people, I just went over a year without any real social engagement with anyone outside of my family. In the last week and a half, one of my best friends has come into town for a weekend, my son’s best friend came up from Indianapolis and spent the night, we went to the county fair, and then we just got back from spending a weekend with my aunt, one of my cousins and his family, and my brother and sister-in-law. I had Monday to recover and then I’ve spent the last two days in professional development from work where there are minimal expectations for me to be properly socialized, but minimal expectations still include “please do not be a snarling rage-beast around outsiders.” There is one more day of this, then three days where I won’t be expected to socialize with anyone, and then a day where the only living thing I’ll have to interact with will be a rhinoceros.

I am exhausted, and I have been for three days. Like, post-convention level exhausted. Like, brain-fogged, not-in-the-mood-for-anything exhausted. I was ready for bed at eight last night and if I could get the sun to turn off I wouldn’t object to going to bed right now.

I promise, I’ll be human again eventually, but damn am I running on empty right now.

In which I give up

My nephew is here, having arrived into the world at around 5:15 yesterday evening; he is of normal size and proportion and in possession of all of the various bits he is supposed to be in possession of. Mom and Dad are also fine, if perhaps slightly dazed. They live much closer to her family than to ours; it’s going to be a couple of weeks before we’re able to go up there and meet him, and I spent a good chunk of last night fighting off a wave of surprisingly intense jealousy that her people were getting to see the new arrival so much earlier than us until I talked to my brother on the phone and he pointed out that, because of Covid, they weren’t allowed any visitors at the hospital, and so nobody other than my brother and sister-in-law are going to get to interact with him until they go home, which should be tomorrow.

My first thought when I saw him was that he got his nose from our side of the family, and then I looked more carefully at my brother’s nose and decided that I didn’t have any idea what the hell I was talking about. I’ve always halfway suspected people just pick a facial feature and a relative when they say things like that, and it entertained me how fast the reaction was on my part and how utterly nonsensical it was when I thought about it. He has the same baby nose as every baby.

Today was exhausting. It’s the first really warm day of the year around here, topping off at around 82 degrees, and my building does not do ventilation all that well; the windows open but it does a lot less good than you might think, and I spent basically the whole damn day sweating. On top of that, the math portion of the ILEARN started today, and my group was quite clearly Over It by the end of the test, despite the fact that every time I walked around and read questions over people’s shoulders it was stuff we had covered recently. Like, this quarter, if not actually in the three weeks I’ve been back.

Insert every rant I’ve ever ranted about how the fuck do you not remember this and what are you people doing that you can know how to do something on Tuesday and act like you’ve never seen it before on Wednesday. By the time we got to eighth hour I was so sweaty and crabby and hot that I actually gave them the period off, because however I was explaining my shit to them today it wasn’t sinking in; my kids were, no shit, having trouble with questions like is this line going up or down all day, and I just cannot right now, at all.

Then in between the bell ringing at the end of the day and getting out of the building I had to deal with two entirely different situations in which a student was bawling and inconsolable and figure out what the hell was wrong and what I could do to fix it, one of which involved a quick parent phone call because the kid was convinced his parents wouldn’t believe him about what had just happened.

I’m in my sleep shorts and a tank top right now, and I don’t wear tank tops. That’s how Goddamned tired I am. Thank God I don’t have any kids tomorrow; I need to get my equilibrium back.