Spring Break is here — and goodness am I feeling twisted. (Thus the picture.) But isn’t my mental exhaustion, physical wretchedness, and gross inattention to the mundane elements of life like the dry cleaning, the cable bill, the tax man (D’oh!) and so forth really just a sign of a healthy, productive classroom? I mean, I should be spent, worn-out and needing a break right now. It means I’ve been working my tail off.
And that’s a good thing!
Hard work is, to go all puritanical pilgrim on you for a sec — good for the soul. I don’t want to end this segment of the school year with gas in the tank. I want to end this section of the school year knowing I pushed myself and my students hard. I mean, the fact is, there is simply not enough time to do all the things we aspire/need/hope/want to do in the course of a single school year anyway so with the time I have, I should feel wrecked right now. It may look and feel ugly to an outsider but on the inside I know, it’s a sign of productivity.
Yes, when you burn the candle at both ends, like I do, it catches up to you. But when you play it safe, lay-low, save some reserves and tip-toe to the finish line, you may have saved some wear-n-tear on yourself but sadly, the kids will have gotten much less. That’s an inescapable trade-off. I mean I have 10 days off from Lynwood High School starting tonight. Isn’t the implicit agreement that I’ll get 10 days off for Spring Break because I’ll need 10 days off because I work so damn hard when I am on?
(BTW, yes, I am under contract for some writing due to my publishers but that’s a separate issue — I’m a freak sucking the marrow out of my career while there’s still breath in my bones. It’s a personal choice to make hay while I can because well, ya never know, right? Besides, I have a tendency to be a derelict when I am not being productive, calling big wigs in State Departments buffoons and things like that. Better to be cranking out a few thousand words a day on the Mac for a publisher, right?)
And so, Good Friday is here, thus kicking off a no-alarm stretch of time in a regular ol’ schoolteacher’s life. T.S. Elliot was wrong when he said April is the cruelest month. Not when I am going to wake up and get a chance to tickle my daughter, it’s not.
Happy Good Friday!