Saturday, August 17, 2013

Five Minutes of Tears

Yesterday wasn't a great day.

I couldn't sleep at all last night since I A) self-sabotaged my sleep schedule by avoiding my anxiety and 2) I spent the whole evening unable to turn off my thoughts anyway.  I tried reading (300 pages), writing, even a boring Tom Cruise movie.  Nothing.  So at 5:30 AM, I gave up and decided to just see how far I could go, knowing full well that things would probably end in tears at some point.

Today I went to school.  I was severely disappointed to see my room.  It was full of leftover materials for me to clean out (including some terrible and strange artwork).  It was full of tables that don't work for me as desks (too clunky and cumbersome to fit 30 kids in).  It had a platform stage and a desk that was bigger (and more stubborn) than I and a huge unfinished sheetrock display box covered in butcher paper (as a projector screen maybe?).

And no window.  I haven't seen the sun in my classroom in 8 years, y'all.

So, at 9:45 AM, I sat down with my chicken biscuit and Diet Coke and cut loose some whiny, embarrassing, selfish tears.  I tend to be super-dramatic when I'm overly tired.  It's not pretty.  I fully admit it.  Then, after about 5 minutes of wallowing in self-pity, I realized that it was stupid to cry over something I haven't even attempted to correct.

I went to see my principal who told me, basically, that the tables are an easy fix.  Then later, she and the vice principal's came down to investigate.  They got a horde of 8th graders and custodial staff to do the desk swap.  Then they started breaking down the monster desk and investigating where it could be better used.  One of them whipped out an exacto knife and started cutting away the gross old carpet on my odd little "stage", determining that it could be pulled right up.

There was no hesitation.  There was no "we'll see what we can do".  They just jumped right in and started examining the problem.  I liked it.

I don't know that this will translate into a better school year or more success.  But I did like the fact that I felt awful and lots of people -- other teachers and students included -- were willing to pitch in to make me feel better.  I'm not good at asking for what I need, but maybe with a little practice, I'll get better at it.

Moral to the story:  Allowing myself 5 minutes of tears is okay if there is 5 hours of production to follow it up.  It can't be the other way around though, and I have to remember that there are people in my life willing to lend a hand if only I reach out.

And now, I'm on 32 hours of no sleep and a serious high from tonight's Rangers game.  (A little Kinsler and KittenFace always makes things better, no?  Thanks again for the incredible tickets, Leslee!)

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