Zebras Rule the World

Middle day of a weird overfull week. It doesn’t chill out this week. I think ever. It’s just full. I get my head around one day at a time. Then last night, I didn’t sleep because my brain was wandering into next year and that’s just a mistake right now. Pros! Yesterday, I got to buy lunch away from school and sit outside with a bunch of co-teachers I don’t get to eat with because we have different lunches. I might get to do the same today! And today does not have a meeting on top of interviews on top of other things that had to be done.

I came home after a meeting and 5 interviews, 2 on Zoom (weird but understandable, although am I old? It’s hard to hear and my principal sneezed during a very important answer.). I had to edit a letter to be sent by multiple staff about next year’s principal choice, then find some other stuff for the current principal. Then I made chai tea and finished my book. I refused to work after that. I feel like I did all the hours. Plus testing is exhausting. It’s walking around the room 700 times and trying to focus on anything (cleaning? organizing? grading? planning? The last two are harder in this situation.). For 3 1/2 hours. Trying to keep the kids from flipping out for 3 1/2 hours. Most of them are fine. Lots of sleeping. I’m good with that. Puzzles! That was a blessing from my math teacher. They were engrossed. I had to make a puzzle board (well, I pulled one of the bases for roller coasters so we could slide it under the puzzle). It was fine. Today it will be less of a novelty and the test is harder and shorter, so it will probably be more difficult to keep them chill.

Today I also have a union meeting after school and then book club (that I just finished the book for), so full, but ending on a good note. Although it’s a murder mystery. So is it good? I just don’t know.

The other good thing (I’m really trying to get out of the mud brain here) is that I am on the stitchdown phase of the quilt. It won’t go fast, but it’s faster than the ironing was. I got the background pieced and the whole thing ironed down on Monday night…

She’s big, beautiful, and complicated. Love it.

Last night, I set everything up so I could start the stitchdown. I listen to podcasts or music and just stitch. I should probably remember to stand up more, but I don’t.

I got a healthy chunk of the bottom left corner done. The machine is behaving; that’s a plus. There’s just a lot that needs to be stitched down. I’m guessing 6-7 hours. Based on my evening plans for the rest of the week, um, yeah. Hopefully by the weekend. That would be good so I can sandwich it over the weekend and start quilting. Can’t guarantee it though. That’s a lot of stitching after meetings. We’ll see. I can only do what I can do. And I can only blow off the day job so much before I’m not prepared to do the things I need to do to teach. My brain wants to be on vacation, but I’m not yet.

There was a comment during the interview process yesterday about teachers who are referral factories. I feel that way with a couple of my classes. It’s been a rough year. I meditated last night, reflected on what to change for next year, felt some bad stressful shit, tried to sleep after that. Hmmm. That’s a no. OK. Well. It’s funny, I’ve got the science down; there’s still revising and planning changes for next year, but it doesn’t feel as overwhelming as it was for this year. This year was just bad. I’m so burnt out that the thought of doing a weeklong training during the summer made me completely shut down. I want a long expanse of time where I don’t have to work this many hours, fall asleep worried about planning or behaviors. And that’s the other part. This year has made me feel like I’m a shitty teacher in so many ways, and I know I’m not. I check in with co-teachers and we are all struggling. Phone behaviors, computer behaviors, lack-of-work behaviors, post-COVID behaviors, parent behaviors and attitudes. It’s exhausting. One of the things I have to do right now for one of my students is take a photo every time he falls asleep in class and send it to mom. Because she doesn’t believe me? I don’t know. I’m just tired. Very very tired. And today? Sad. Overwhelmed sad. I do love most of teaching. I have not loved it this year. Well, even that’s not true. Some of the teaching/learning has been awesome. So focus on that today. I suspect crying during testing is not preferred. I’m not testing…the kids are. I really shouldn’t be crying.

We did Natural Selection Comics to show understanding. I do have some absolutely awesome ones that I’ll share later, but these two…honestly, they both made me laugh, and the zebra one did OK on his grade. The other one? Totally off topic. But still made me laugh. And then hold my head.

Zebras rule the world. Even better, inside is white. I know he means the outside between the stripes, but I really really wanted to write, nah, inside is red, full of blood, dude. Still giggling.

This one though…

Does he have a pet snake named Fluffy? I just don’t know. Certainly there’s some interesting things going on here. None of them on the topic of natural selection. None at all. Nope. Gonna have to ask him some questions tomorrow.

So that’s it for today. Finish the first round of state testing. Get lunch with friends. Try to be productive for the second half of the school day (ha!), then union meeting, home, eat leftovers, book club, stitching with podcasts, sleep. Actually sleeping would be nice, because I mostly skipped that step last night and now the other eye is twitching in off time to the first one. Very distracting. There’s stitching though! Getting this quilt done so I can get to the next one…since the world is sucking my free time away from me. Yup. Gonna grab that back somehow for next year. Gotta figure that out.

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