My good friend, a 2nd year teacher, trudged down to my room as the clock was nearing 7. "Epiph," she said, sighing. "I thought my second year of teaching would be so much easier than my first. What the fuck am I still doing here at 7?"
"Hell, I'm in year six, and I'm still here. Don't ask me," my eyes red from the dry air of the building and the mountain of essays I'd just graded.
And so it goes.
We're single, childless and in our late twenties, and we're the ones putting 12 or 13 hours a day into a job that could take 16 or 17 if you let it - the work just never gets all done, there's always something more to do or something to do better. But you could also fake out almost everyone with dittos and glitter by putting in just 8 hours and leaving five minutes after the bell rings.
2007 has gotten off to a mediocre start. The briefness of the break combined with the travel back to Michigan ensured my lack of energy this week; for a long time this year, I had looked at the Christmas holiday as a chance to (and this is pretty sad) get caught up on readings and grading, but that didn't happen, and now I feel stressed. In addition, of course, I got fired and rehired this week. I'm not sleeping well. I'm not working out. The last two days, I've worked till I dropped at school, then went home to read texts, plan lessons, and try to debrief the day. This weekend, I work three shifts at the restaurant, and, while I want to quit, my tuition bills loom.
This is the year I turn 30. This is the life I've carved out for myself, a life that fits the definition of living to work instead of working to live. It's good; I love my job; I'm content, mostly. Is this all there is, though? I'm just not sure.
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