Tonight was one of those rare nights in my life when I returned home from school and just sat. I sat not thinking. Not moving — well, except maybe the drip of saliva coming from the corner of my mouth. Sometimes the body is just too tired for any form of stimulation — even sleep.
Yes, at that point of exhaustion, sleep is a stimulant. For some reason laying down made my toes cramp and my legs twitch. On the edge of sleep, my body would spaz out. So I sat for a few hours. No TV. No radio. No input. Blessed, healing silence.
How does a body get to this point? Well, I haven’t been sleeping well. Every night I wake up at 2:00 a.m. for some inexplicable reason, and cannot fall back to sleep until around 3:30 a.m. (last remembered glance at the clock).
Then there is working 6 days per week, grading papers weekends and evenings and church on Sunday. I go to the gym three or four nights per week, too. I am certain the gym is not part of the problem.
So, three nights of approximately 5 hours sleep per night, each broken into two segments; and 9 hour work days followed by an hour and a half of tutoring, has pretty much sapped me. Add to that, Friday afternoon’s team building activities.
After lunch all the fifth grade kids were broken into five groups. Out of deference to the big black bags under my eyes, I was given the “break room” where the kids were to play games, make motivational test taking posters, and chill between more challenging activities. In truth, monitoring behavior wasn’t hard. They were all engaged in learning new games — which I was teaching. You haven’t lived until you’ve been in a room with 30 kids playing 7 or so different games and you are teaching them all, simultaneously.
Also on today’s menu were progress reports, quarter final reading reports, and for those of us whose students are taking the nasty CRT next week, lunch with the principal. We all arrived for our lunch. Our food arrived for our lunch — and the principal paid for it — but the principal never arrived for our lunch. Nor did she send regrets.
Then the principal called an after school staff meeting — so not okay with union policies — plus, it’s Friday and she wants us to stay after. Of course, some of us — like me — don’t have anywhere more pressing to be on Friday nights, so I just shrugged. Not so others, who were screaming infringement. At any rate, most of the staff showed up at the meeting to hear the announcment that internet may be down next week, the internal network will definately be down next week, and our Principal has taken another job across town, where she will be heading a college prep elementary school (yes, OC, you read that right).
The principal assured us that she’s not leaving until the end of the school year, and she wouldn’t “check out” on us between now and then — but I’m skeptical since she’d missed our lunch without so much as an apology. Besides, a few of us noticed about a month ago that she had already checked out.
Anyway, you may expect strange and frenzied behavior from me for the next week or so while my kids suffer through the pressure cooker called Criterion Referenced Testing.