Taking Care of Myself…

I would love to report numerous small quilts bound and ready for hand-stitching, since I know Mad Max: Fury Road arrives from Netflix today, but no such luck. I went to a big contemporary art show last night, just a quick runaround to look at mostly big brightly colored crap with some bits and pieces of nice. A group I’m in has a booth there. I could have been in it, but I don’t work particularly small and there were 11 artists there, so not much space…and even then, very expensive.

Then I came home and graded. I had one period of a very nasty assignment. Well, I thought it was a perfectly reasonable assignment, but apparently their brains left the building and they forgot that living things are made of cells and things inside cells must by definition be smaller than cells or they won’t fit. So I spent the last 24 hours bleeding red pen all over these papers, hoping they would get it. Might be a waste of time. It’s been a rough week for our team. Not a lot of work completion. Frustration with trying to get kids to turn in makeup work. Wondering why the parents are so checked out. Dear Politicians: You can’t have any accountability for teachers until you get parents to buy in and be a part of the team. There’s no way I can make a kid give a shit when the parents don’t. Occasionally I’ll get one that rises above it, and I hope more of that happens in high school and college as their brains mature, but 12-year-olds? Not happening. Stop threatening me with accountability if you’ve never been a teacher. You don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. This is not a job where if I work harder, magic happens and kids produce. Some kids are just checked out. I can work my butt off trying to get them to check in, but sometimes it just won’t work.

So my goal this weekend is not to look at school stuff for as many minutes as possible. I have two art openings tomorrow and some relaxation time scheduled for tonight. I need to do some cleanup in here too, try to move more stuff from the boychild’s room. If I can get the bookshelf restocked with whatever was on it, then I can move the larger furniture/storage pieces out of there. The chaos is bugging me.

I also want to get more of the small quilts done and maybe start tracing Wonder Under on Bathtub 5. Here was the original drawing back in April…

Apr 21 15 001 small

You can see the owl in the top right is like the one I just finished. I added stuff below and in the top right. I also had to add some lines to break up the edge of the bathtub, so I wouldn’t have to find a piece of fabric big enough to go all the way around the bottom, like I did last time. Big white and off-white pieces of fabric for bathtubs…the last one had more bathtub showing. This one doesn’t have much. Not as much water showing either. But these two huge rugs on the side. Gotta wonder what I was thinking.

That’s the key though. When I draw, I’m not thinking about the production or how much of a pain it will be. I’m just drawing.

This is one of those days when I want to pretend that I am not a teacher at all, that I don’t have a frustrating week of microscopes ahead of me (actually, my co-teacher gave me an idea about how to manage the frustration and I’m totally going to use it, because otherwise, some kids will take 5 days to look at a newsprint e under the scope. And that’s just wrong.). I’m going to act like the end of the trimester doesn’t even exist. I’m going to turn off the teacher part and let the artist part just ramble. If I can.

That’s the other part that drives me nuts…when people complain that teachers don’t care about kids and that’s why we won’t (insert crazy-ass comment here about spending more hours than we already do unpaid or something about how THEIR husband doesn’t get paid overtime, which is nuts, because I don’t even get paid what their husband does and I work monster hours at this job). I care way too much about my kids. Even the assholes. And yes, there are assholes. And I tell myself repeatedly that a 12-year-old does not become an asshole without parental (or guardian) involvement or environmental shit, that they are still redeemable, that the parents aren’t doing their jobs. I care even about the assholes. And I spend hours calling home and putting together makeup work and getting in their faces or encouraging them or whatever it takes to get them to stop sitting there and actually DO something. I don’t care? My ass. Fuck you. My job is not a corporate job. I’ve had one of those. I know what that looks like. This job sucks it out of you. And if you let them, they will take even more time. I had about 20 student emails last night, panicked. I had a parent yesterday blaming me for her son’s computer not working, demanding that I fix it, or excuse her son from the assignment they left until the last minute. I just walked away from all of it. I answered one email. I ignored the rest. Most of them didn’t need anything anyway.

Yeah. Today. Going to gym. Straightening things. Putting stuff away. Playing with fabric. Hanging out. Not school. I have to be able to go back on Monday and be in a better mood about it. I just have to. I have to take care of myself…

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