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Maybe I’ll Live

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.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Aw. Try to get some sleep. I was having the same problem for the longest time. Lately I’ve been using a sleep balm, and although I was really skeptical at first, I don’t think I’ve had a bad night since I started using it.

    Yes, we’ve already kissed Harvard goodbye, and my daughter hasn’t even started school. They didn’t go to college prep preschool, so they can’t make it into the college prep elementary school. And it’s all downhill from there. Darnit.

  2. College prep elementary school? Gee in Australia, nobody worries about uni entrance until year 11 (some not until the applications are due!).

  3. I felt this tired a couple of weeks ago. I finally gave in and used every spare moment to get back into the sleep habit. It helped.

  4. Make an effort to take care of yourself. Everything starts to feel a little heavier and a little more difficult, when you are too tired. I know. I fight sleep – let myself stay up too late and rise too early. Works for awhile, and then something has to give.

  5. Oh geeeeez! Sounds to me like your principal already checked out! That is just WRONG! I’m sorry Quilly. I hope you guys get a really EXCELLENT replacement though!

    Hope you get some GOOD rest too…. maybe you should try a sexy alligator!

  6. Brig — it is ridiculous! As if anybody could know in preschool what their kid might someday be. In fact, in high school they told me I wasn’t very bright and my best career choice would be getting married and having children.

    Mumma — as it should be.

    Kat — she didn’t quit, exactly. I mean, she still shows up everyday.

    Nessa — 9 hours last night. I’m feeling pretty good right now.

    Jackie — it seems I never have any down time. I deliberately took a day off work and all that rest only seemed to make me even more tired!

    Melli — whoever comes as the principal’s replacement can work with my replacement. Haven’t you heard? I’m eaving Las Vegas.

    As for the sexy alligator — when I’m tired alcohol tends to heighten my muscle twitches and jerks, which doesn’t help me rest at all. And if I have enough to stop the twitches and jerks, then the hangover and headache cancel the rest.

  7. I have nights like that, I just get to the verge of sleep and I wake up to start it all over again. Other times which seems to happen every night I have restless sleep and wake up not to get back to sleep for an hour or more. It also doesn’t help to have cats coming in concerned as to why I am not sleeping.

    Hope you do find that restful night.

  8. Bill — I am so used to the cats walking on me that I rarely notice them until one of them keeps me from moving or breathing. Fluffy likes to lay on my feet. Chrissy likes to lay on my face.

  9. WHHHHHHHAAAAAAAT???? Heck NO I haven’t heard! HOW did I MISS this? When are you leaving? YOU CAN’T LEAVE!!! You’re my Vegas “connection”!!! I haven’t BEEN there yet! Ugh! *stomps foot* …. i can’t believe this…

  10. WHERE are you goin? You’re goin to that OC’s place aren’t you?! I knew somethin’ was up…. boy! Alright… fill me in … THEN I’ll congratulate you … or something….

  11. Polona — I am rested now, thanks.

    Melli — I’ll be in Vegas until at least mid-June. But, instead of worrying about missing your Vegas connection, you might practice saying Aloha.

    Btw, I tried to send you email, but it bounced. Click the link in my sidebar and send me your correct addy.

  12. ROFL! Nope… I can’t be bought THAT easily… I already HAVE a Hawaiian connection! hehehe… But WOW! That’s GREAT for you! Sending email!

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