But I will try.
Stayed up fairly late, into the am hours, creating a lesson plan and handout that would have changed all my students' lives forever. (Alright, so maybe that's an exaggeration.) With my Honors kids, I'm teaching a novel - written by a prominent Latina writer, about her house on a certain street in Chicago, and I don't really want to mention it because I want to google proof myself a little from prying students - that I've never taught before. I've got a lot of goals for it, but one of the most prominent is a section of my course in which a group of three students is going to "teach" different sections of the text. They're going to complete a lesson plan, using state objectives, and create a drill, lead a discussion, and create an assessment. It might sound like I'm sluffing all the work onto my kids, but this is an intense assignment to plan. I spent a few hours completing it last night, and even put some finishing touches on it this morning.
Usually I can just sort of de-intensify things for my non-Honors courses, but, right now, I'm teaching a completely different book with them, so I planned something completely different with them. My plan for today included a crossword puzzle for homework and a vocabulary and grammar activity for classwork. I worked on them much of the evening, as well. It actually takes quite a while to create a crossword puzzle.
Because I don't have a printer at home, I always e-mail myself my documents and print them out in the morning at school. You see where this is going, don't you? The internet was down at school, so I couldn't print out all the handouts and lesson plans!
I was irate. Usually something like that wouldn't set me off, but, that, combined with my trudging down the hall with my rickety cart, since I don't have a damn classroom and have to lug my materials around six times a day, and all the papers blowing away as I trudge, just made me insane. I could barely handle it; I wanted to kick a wall. Then people came up to me and said completely the wrong things to me, and it just made it worse.
I hate not having a classroom. I hate spending hours creating documents that I needed today and then not having access to it because I can't print it out because the internet decides randomly not to work. I hate wheeling my belongings around. I hate being told by people who get paid much more than I do to do much less than I do that he or she will take care of something for me - like a large book order at Barnes and Noble - and then calling up the store tonight and hearing that, "Sorry, sir, there is no large book order for Romeo and Juliet" so my plans tomorrow are shot as well.
That last blow was the blow of the evening. After a while today, my bad day became sort of comical. I was joking about making a noose out of my keychain, and told a colleague that I would give her half my annual salary if she went and taught my 5/6A day class. So I was cracking jokes about my bad day. My students, after I told them my story about the vocab crossword, told me, "Aw, Mr. Epiph, we'll still learn our vocab - we can play vocab charades!" And it worked! So I was embracing my bad day and all its ferocity. Then, tonight, as I was driving up Loch Raven to get the books at Barnes and Noble, I decided to call and confirm about the book order. Not only is it not in, it hadn't been placed. My eyelids got hot and all I did was turn up "Hard Knock Life" and roll the windows down in the cold, angrier than I have been in ages.
Baseball tryouts start tomorrow, so I'm already primed and nervous for that. I have five adults helping me tomorrow, an unheard-of number, and that's great and all, but that means I have to give them all something to do. While I'm sure it will be nice to get back between the white lines, it also will be stressful until I get there.
It's the sort of day that I have to end early with an early time to bed, and a reminder of one of my favorite quotes: "Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes, it's the quiet voice inside your head that whispers, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" Mary Anne Radenbacher, whoever you are, thank you. I need those words.
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