March 2019 SOLC–Day 16
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.
As much as I was looking forward to the end of the week, I was dreading it as well. This will not be a weekend. It is already over-scheduled with school work (reading, scoring, writing comments, planning…), and I’ll be back at school on Monday having had no substantial time to refresh.
I also feel unhappy about the week behind me. As we all tried to adjust to the clock change, the trimester ground to a halt. We administered assessment after assessment. Everyone was tired and on top of it, I was stressed. That combination doesn’t lead to creative or patient teaching. Put simply, I haven’t been my best self.
Then, next week, we’re headed into state-mandated testing, so we’ve been prepping for that as well. I feel like a cog in a big ugly machine right now, running right over the children I’m supposed to be teaching, encouraging, supporting…bypassing their needs as I tend to the demands of the system.
At the end of the day Friday, I sat at my desk, discouraged, trying to find the energy to stuff everything I could possibly need into my bags. I contemplated the coming weekend, the past week, and the weeks to come. Every dormant herpes simplex cell in my body quivered at attention, happily feeding on the incoming stress, ready to blossom at the slightest encouragement. I had to “detox”, at least a little.
Finally, I picked up the phone.
“Hey, Kurt,” I said when he answered, “You know what I really want to do?”
“What?” he asked, somewhat hesitantly.
“I want to drive to Portland and go get a giant piece of cheese-dripping pizza at Slab. Maybe even two.”
He laughed. “You want to drive all the way to Portland to get a piece of pizza?” he asked.
“Yes!” I replied somewhat desperately, “A big cheesy piece of pizza! I need a break. If I go straight home I’m going to start writing or working, and I want to hang out with you. I really need to get away.” I paused, then continued, “Also, if I’m going to eat pizza, I want it to be really good pizza!”
After some discussion, Kurt, good guy that he is, agreed that, while pizza wouldn’t be his first choice of a meal if we were driving half an hour into the city, he was okay with it.
So, I packed up, hefted my bulging bags into the car, and drove home. Forty-five minutes later we were on our way.
We enjoyed ourselves.
The pizza was delicious.
And now it’s time to work.