I think I’ve hit a wall..

some sort of exhaustion wall just popped up and I splatted into it–but fortunately I’d already cleared the ‘Supernatural’ hurtle, which was a good thing, because tonight’s episode ROCKED. (Poor Dean–to have the absolute truth about himself shouted into a high school hall, when he’d tried so hard to hide it… OUCH!) Of course the whole episode hit home–it’s been a rough week on the school front.

Two years ago, when my professional life fell completely apart and I went mildly (severely?) insane with a mix of hormones, exhaustion, computer conspiracies, a nightmare in a size six, and a vainglorious prickweenie who hated my guts, I sort of ‘pulled back’ from my students. I realized that I placed too much value in my students’ view of me–on some levels that is truly satisfying, because those are the people I am working for, but in the long run? They will leave me–and the people I work with need to feel respected, because we’re stuck with each other for LIFE! Besides, the students’ view can act like a funhouse mirror–the things they see and enjoy might not always be my most flattering attributes as a teacher, so I started to put some distance there. At least that way, I thought, a nightmare in a size six will never be able to rip my heart out again, right?

Obviously I wasn’t entirely successful–I think the number of kids represented in Bitter Moon II probably proved that (has anyone read it? Did they like it? Is it getting to you yet? Does it suck… wait, Amy, focus, focus…), and this week I got close again, and, well, not all the stories are pretty. I’ve always known it–but it hurts, and I want to sleep and write and read and knit and basically recover. I also want to come up with something to make a colleague going in for surgery in a couple of days–nice guy… wait, amend that–AWESOME guy–and I can’t figure out if he’d want socks (very large feet–I’d use chunky yarn) or a blanket, or maybe just a stack of movies or something… (yes, as odd as it sounds, not everybody is comforted by knit goods…) The sad thing is that I probably will freeze with paralysis and self-consciousness and not produce anything but a “Good luck!”

Anyway, I think I’ll close with a mild rant about work–and I’m pretty sure this won’t offend any of my colleagues, because, well, I think it contains some unanimous sentiment:

Going to the bathroom

At Home:

Run down the hallway the bathroom.
Shuck drawers.
Sit or stand as necessary.
Hit the toilet cheerio.
Wipe or tap.
Stand up.
Wash hands.
Dry them.
Get the hell out of there before the entire family crashes the door because you’ve had five seconds of privacy to yourself.

At work:

Kick kids out.
Lock the door.
Run across the quad.
Discover the lock is broken in the nearest door.
Run to other door.
Discover your key doesn’t work at the other door.
Run to next building.
Interrupt a special education class in the common room of the other building ante-room.
Kill some ants on the counter as you wait for the person in front of you.
Get into the bathroom.
Shuck drawers.
Sit or stand as necessary.
Hit the toilet cheerio.
If you have to wipe, grab handfuls of the toilet-seat covers, because odds are good you’ll be missing toilet paper.
Stand up.
Get hands wet.
Reach for soap–are sadly disappointed.
Try to seduce a paper towel out of the dispenser.
It doesn’t put out. You are sadly disappointed.
Open the door with your elbow, go to the paper towel dispenser over the sink by the bathroom.
You are sadly disappointed.
Run to paper towel dispenser in the room next to the bathroom anteroom.
You are sadly disappointed.
Wipe your hands on the ass of your jeans on the way out the door as you run past the bathroom you couldn’t let yourself into and to your classroom, where thirty kids are looking avidly to see if you have toilet paper stuck to your foot because they all know you’ve been taking a piss.
Thank the Goddess, they are sadly disappointed.
Think about writing a bitter e-mail to the effect of ‘Goddammit I’m an adult can’t I take a fucking piss without making a federal production out of it?’.
Get caught up in the class period you’re teaching and forget the e-mail.
Repeat the entire process in an hour.
Think seriously about adult diapers.
Go home and be grateful for the five other people trying to crash your potty time at home–at least you know there’ll be soap.

The end.

0 thoughts on “I think I’ve hit a wall..”

  1. That sounds like public toilets everywhere!

  2. roxie says:

    Oh my dear, my dear! That’s criminal. Going to the toilet shouldn’t be an exercise in frustration.

    I’m sorry your valiant, tender heart has been wounded again. But being the person you are, you are going to continue to put it out there, because you LIKE the little weasles. Heal fast, dear.

  3. Galad says:

    I’m sure the man going in for surgery would appreciate anything just because you went to some effort to be supportive. It doesn’t have to be THE perfect gift – the thought truly is what counts.

    I’m with Roxie. You can’t stop putting your heart on the line for the kids because that is who you are. Helping yourself heal is something you are still working on (though the knitting, tv, family etc. does seem to help 🙂

    Perhaps the staff needs to stage a flush in to get the point across about the bathrooms. With all the challenges in education, peeing shouldn’t be one of them!

  4. Donna Lee says:

    At this point in your life, I don’t think pulling your heart inside its shell is an option. The pattern of giving is there and ingrained. The hurt reminds you that you are still able to feel. I’m sorry it hurt and I hope things heal. You’re a good person.

  5. NeedleTart says:

    We now have to keep the teachers’ bathrooms locked. Think they’ll give a key to the sub? Ha. Last month I was in for a whole week for the same teacher and I was “allowed” to use a key (rather than stand in the hallway and dance while waiting for an official with a key) so I kept it!
    Yeah, I hugged a kid yesterday and thought “I’d better stop *that*.” Sigh. Good luck.

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