Tuesday, March 9, 2010

These Other Days

I think I once said it, in some post long forgotten (or maybe not so long and forgotten, but hopefully you get the point) about feeling beautiful in the skin that you're in and leaving your fat clothes in the closet.

Today was not one of those days. Today was one of those other days.

You know, those days when you don't feel well and you don't know why; the days when your stomach gurgles and you haven't the faintest clue what to do to make it stop; the days when you don't feel very beautiful because your forehead is trying to resemble a slice of pizza instead of smooth skin; and you feel incredibly itchy because the weather has hit a warm snap and your psoriasis doesn't really appreciate that sudden shift. These are the days when you look at your blog reader and see something from your sister about the package that you sent your niece, and like her, Friday can't get here fast enough. Those days when nothing seems to go right, there's not enough hours in the day to do what needs to get done, and you just. Want. Out. Those days when you're tired of dealing with people, tired of trying to figure out why the guy you sit next to in Physics, who knows your name, by the way, and speaks to you sparingly mostly because you're still a chicken, keeps not accepting your Facebook friend requests. Those days when you wonder why you write because, according to the rejection letters you keep getting, you can't do it to save your life. Those days when you doubt each and every thing about you that makes you a unique individual and nothing can really seem to make you smile. Those days when you yet again have to take your best friend to have blood drawn because they still don't know what's wrong with her. Fosters great faith in the medical system, doesn't it? That after a year and a half they still haven't figured out how make a nineteen-year-old girl's internal system run smoothly. And, as the best friend, watching her suffer through getting vials of blood drawn (eight at once, that one time) and they still haven't figured out what the hell is going on.

Today was one of those days. This week will probably be comprised of many of those days, because next week is spring break. It doesn't deserve the capitals, because it's not going to be what anyone else would consider grand and exciting. I get three days at home before I'm back in my corner single and then three days of teaching all day at my placement to wrack up the hours that I'll be missing because I'm in New York City. And then the hours that I'll miss next month because I'm in Toronto.

Truthfully, I'm not too awful excited about spending the next three days - the first three days of my vacation - at my teaching placement. It's not that my cooperating teacher isn't great, or that the kids are gnarly or anything, but, like anybody else in a stressful position, I need a break. Four courses (standard) plus a seminar (not standard) and forty hours a semester in a school that I don't get to choose, with a teacher that I don't get to choose, at a grade level that I don't get to choose (are you out of your mind?)...it's difficult. And before you tell me to suck it up, that parenting and a 9 to 5 job is much more difficult, think about it from my perspective. Keep the I've done it, I don't need to think about it from your perspective to yourself, and step into my size 9 Converse for a second. When you get home on Friday, and you do the parenting things, you have, after the kidlets go to bed, time to yourself and your significant other. You have time to yourself - you can choose to fold laundry on Saturday, or take a nap when your child does, or get outside in the sunshine that's not going to last (not yet in this part of New York, folks, trust me). You will not, however, spend hours reading books that you might not otherwise be inclined to read, try and probably fail at doing physics problems, chemistry problems, lab write ups, and whatever else academia throws my way. There is also reading required for these classes, as well as things to do (lesson plans, looking over curriculum, and learning about how to teach inquiry-based learning) for the education seminar. Also, find time in the day to eat.

And this is at a time when the teaching industry is coming under heavy fire. Education reform is looming, probably inevitable. I'm not a complete idiot - I saw the articles in Newsweek and read from Anderson Cooper's blog about the firing of 77 teachers (93 personnel total) in a school district in Rhode Island. Standards throughout the country are falling (though, apparently, they don't have much left to fall before they hit bottom) and that's a whole other argument that I could go into. And teaching might be my back up plan, for the moment (I don't know what I'm going to do when I'm out of college, and if you can find someone who's not going to medical school and who knows, power to you) and I'm currently in the field. I am a teacher-in-training, and while this isn't inner-city, it's rural life. And rural life, if you've never been out of a city, is completely different. The resources (sometimes lack thereof) are very different, and personnel, personality, and allocation aren't what you might think they are. It is neither easier nor more difficult out here. It is simply different.

I'm trying to be an optimist. Honestly, I'm failing miserably at the moment. I recognize this, I understand, and I'm okay with it. Because not everybody can be all happy-go-lucky and sunshine and daisies every day. Don't care what your chosen profession is, sometimes you have those days. And what do you do when you have those days? What conclusion do you come to?

You come to the fact that you need a break.

You can, in your 9 to 5 job (or what is equivalent to it) take vacation days. You can take sick days. You have a limit of how many you can take (fifteen, or so, am I right?)

I can, at the discretion of the individual professor, have the possibility of maybe missing three classes without getting penalized a third of my letter grade at the end of the semester. This, as I have mentioned, is at the discretion of the professor. He or she can say that there are no classes that you can miss. It's a given that attendance is mandatory (unless you have a trip for a class - and if you're thinking I'm a hypocrite for my Two Cities class - we have to clear those dates with all of our other professors in the first week of the semester and if there is a conflict and we can absolutely not go, we have to drop the Two Cities course). And laboratory in the sciences? Those minimum three and a half hour blocks, those are mandatory. Miss one of those and you run the risk of failing the class.

There really aren't any sick days or vacation days.

So, today is one of those other days when I'm running out of patience; tired of dealing with people; and just want to go home for more than a few days at a time before I'm back to the rat race that is my sophomore spring schedule. Yes, I'm well aware that I chose that schedule, but might I remind you that you applied for the job that you have because you wanted it? Be careful here, people. There are more similarities between us - me and you, you adult real world worker - than you really want to let on. Because you think, she's young. She can suck it up.

To a point, yes I can. To quote one of my parents, Suck it up and deal with it. Okay. I'll agree with that. To a point. And that point is where you are no longer functioning and more or less cease to be a human being. You become an automaton, and you become a nasty, defensive, snarky (snarkier than normal) person who has issues getting through the day without bursting into tears.

It's hard. To come back at the end of Those Days to an empty corner single. Once again, you say, You chose it. Yes, well, you chose to have children, didn't you? You chose to have the job you have, and to live the life that you live, more or less. There are outside circumstances, granted (I didn't have a good experience with a roommate last year, so I didn't so much care where I lived as long as I lived alone - there are pros and cons with every decision) but there are times when enough is enough.

This week will be filled with Those days. Those days when you don't feel beautiful, you feel like you can't do it, and every doubt that you've ever had in your life comes back and taunts you. And you just. Want. Out.

To quote my beautiful Mayhem Maker - "Tomorrow Friday?"

No. Tomorrow is only Wednesday. Friday is a few of Those Days away.


Straight Guy said...

Hang in there. There will be times later in life when you would beg for a few days back in the lonely corner single. Anything is better than the forced-but-blind roommate scenario, right? Take care of your sick friend, though. She needs it.

Molly Louise said...

Thank you.

"The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't."

-Joseph L. Mankiewicz