Totally Deserved

Hmmm…sliding into Friday like…oh no, not sliding. I’ve been sprinting for it since Tuesday morning! Yesterday I was at work at 8 AM, by the skin of my toes, and left at 5:30 PM, but came home and after reading for 30 minutes (yes, I set a timer and then finished the chapter I was on when it went off), I started working again (it’s that bad) and finished around 9:15 PM. DO NOT RECOMMEND. ZERO STARS. Ignored the three snotty emails from a parent about something that didn’t happen. I’ll deal with that today. I think I answered ALMOST all of the other emails. Maybe. My science co-teacher and I flipflopped a project yesterday, starting today. Like we’re bonkers, but it makes sense, and we might have figured it out sooner if we were allowed to meet with all our brain cells present (not this week). So I fixed all that, copied a bunch of stuff for that and 8th grade, then came home and created Tuesday’s assignment for 8th grade (still need to copy that), plus graded an academic assignment for three classes. Ate leftovers, sat on the couch for almost 4 hours doing all this crap. I have a desk setup, but it was freezing last night, and we can’t even put the heat on until 6:30 because it’s been costing so much. So a thick sweatshirt, hood up, cats around, get it done.

Some of this stress is because we’re going to be gone for most of two days for art stuff, so I’m trying to get caught up (ha! never happen) before we go. Plus I’ve got some art pickups and deliveries coming up, have to get ready for those, and the trimester ends soon, so I’m just full-on, straight-up panicking, where’s the cookies, losing my mind. Still deep in the depths of planning activities about light waves, haven’t even considered the space unit, never taught that shit before, not sure how it’s gonna roll. At least with light, there’s labs and simulations. Space? We’re just gonna watch Star Trek and give them a test. Klingon or Vulcan? And why? Good answer.

Looking forward to the art-stuff trip though. Deep breaths. Almost there.

I have been ironing every night, despite the chaos. I will not give up on making art because my day job is untenable, unsustainable, unbearable. In the last two nights, I’ve gotten through about 200 pieces, ironing a pigoon (Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake) and all its requisite stuff, including goggles (if you were a pigoon, you’d want goggles too. Don’t lie). And an ‘easy’ button. One hundred years in the future, they won’t know what an ‘easy’ button is. I’m OK with that. I’m in the 1100s. And almost 22 hours of ironing. If you’re wondering. I started on January 30th. Not a fast process. Even with 3-day weekends that are sucked up by the day job.

So here’s last night’s progress…

That box keeps getting more and more full. I’ll be trimming over the weekend, at least a little. I think. I’m debating. It’s a pain to travel with stuff to cut. So maybe I’ll just take embroidery (easier in the car) and…well…I know I’ll be doing most of the driving, because the Man gets stressed out in LA, and I don’t. He can drive through Riverside. I’m also taking my book and my school computer. Maybe. On the school stuff. It’s either do some while I’m gone or spend all day Monday doing it. Forty-two days until Spring Break. One hundred and eighteen until summer. I need to get one smaller quilt and another larger one done in that timeframe. Ha! At the rate I’m going? This year sucks.

I’m blessed to have the team I have at work. I can’t imagine how hellacious this would be without them. One of my former teammates (still on the 7th-grade team) called last night because she hadn’t seen me at work for days. Love that. I do miss having lunch with her. She brings stuff for taste tests. Anything to distract us from the stupid. You can’t imagine how happy donuts make us. Sad but true.

This year. Yup.

Apparently I am a meme.

I have a rule that I don’t answer school emails at night for exactly this reason. Sometimes I don’t answer them until my science co-teacher is in the room and can talk me down off the message I was going to send.

It’s fine. Really. I vent because it makes me better able to be calm and productive in the classroom. I’m getting through it. Sometimes I even enjoy it. Sometimes a kid gives me an amazing answer or I see progress with a kid who hasn’t been doing it or I make a connection that wasn’t there before. Sometimes I don’t.

I went to make toast this morning…

The part of my brain that is overwhelmed and wanted toast for breakfast was very sad about this…until it saw that most of the loaf was not so holey. The part of my brain that is creative tells me that I can cook an egg in this for breakfast tomorrow and it will be very nice. So that’s how I get through it all.

To school. Teach magnetic fields, start talking about MRIs. Like you do. Prep stuff for next week. Send stuff to Print Shop for copying. Then teach reptiles and incubators…ironic since I just ironed one the other night. Not ironic. Just normal. Then duty at the crosswalk at the light. Exciting. Set up classroom for next Tuesday, clean up some of the chaos, come home, read my damn book for a while. Work. Pack. Iron some more. Then enjoy some art this weekend. Totally deserved.

Prepare for Your Doom…

Is it midweek? Or just time for a nap? Hard to say. Back into school, actually sort of finishing grading all the stuff I was supposed to do over break (except for the late work and redoes). Yesterday should have been a chill start to a new project and a new unit, but chill is not the word I would use. Annoying would be a good one. I reviewed behavior expectations, got them started, had to deal with a huge number of behavior issues in two out of the five classes, and then the adult stuff, the district stuff, that’s what threw me over the edge. I think I give up. I mean, I don’t. I go off instead. Not at the kids yesterday. Education shouldn’t be a business. My classroom shouldn’t be a place where district advertising happens. But it is. I feel like my district is a significant part of my discontent. Hmmm. And yet, because of the way our salaries and benefits work, I can’t afford to go to another one. Yeah. Plus I love my team and most of the kids (yeah, really) and the school. So. I’d love more respect from the district too, but that would mean they were different than all the other districts out there (and there are some that are much worse). They actually sent us an email today about the difference between alcoholics and workaholics. Like they aren’t the cause of it all. It’s physically impossible to get it all done. It’s like what we spent part of Monday on…how do we solve problems that don’t start in school, that we have no control over, that we can’t possibly affect? Sigh. This is the job of my discontent at the moment. Live with that thought for a bit. Then figure out how to move on.

Meanwhile, I’m making art. I’m always making art. It’s my sanity. I finished numbering on Monday night…

I was guessing 1800 pieces, but I was delightfully wrong…

It was only 1574. Sounds good. Looking forward to all of it.

I started tracing last night, but I didn’t have my full hour…

Only 36 minutes…because I stayed at school to grade one class period of an assignment, then came home and went to the gym, then came back and graded the other class period of that assignment, all before I started tracing at 9:54 PM. So I only got some rocks and dirt done. I’m hoping tonight is better, but I won’t even get home until after 7 PM, so IDK how that will go. Maybe I will not be grading anything tonight. And here’s how it goes!

Work smarter, not harder. Or not longer. I’ve got some tweaks to do on the roller coaster stuff for the week after next, and I got a delightful planning period with my 8th-grade co-teacher for the first time this school year. I think this is going to help. I’m hoping this is going to help. Or I might lose my mind.

You know those delivery photos you get to prove your package was delivered? Simba is in this one, barking his little mind out…

What a good boy.

I was grading my advisory assignments on Monday (yes, during professional development…what ELSE do you do during something that doesn’t actually help you teach or prepare or self care or whatever?)…and this kid, whom I love…

I agree. Totally. Hands down the best answer.

The girlchild and I were talking about thriving (another thing my district thinks I am doing)…

Yup. Well. Not gaming, but certainly pillow forting with a book or art and a dog or cat or both.

OK, so I still have to grade a pile of late work and redoes, plus do that fussy shit for the roller coaster project, and maybe look at the stuff for next week, write some warmups, WAKE THE FUCK UP (omg when will I get enough sleep), get through today (notes in one grade level, plus one activity, then simulation in the other grade), then pilates followed by physical therapy (the knee is improving very slowly in terms of mobility, but the pain is still there, still an issue going upstairs, worse on some days than others). Dinner. Art. Sleep. Is that it? I think it’s all I’ve got right now. That and an intriguingly complicated quilt to make.