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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Almost Human

I'm having a major, hardcore crisis of faith in myself as a writer (unfortunate timing, that) but I'm pretty sure I'll recover. Besides my normal bitching, whining, and public gibbering in a corner about my stresses and artistic shortcomings, about once a year I get a 'I shouldn't be doing this!!!!!!!' burr up my ass.

I think the fact that this one's coming strategically before my book signing says something about my rather tangled psyche--I"m planning to ignore it. It too shall pass.

Other than that--if my head cold passes tonight (as I feel it may do) I could pass for human tomorrow--good thing, I've got an annual evaluation meeting. I'm starting to dread these for an entirely new reason. It used to be, "Omygod, I suck as a teacher, they're not listening, and the admin will fire me!!!" (Because, uhm, that happened--not because I sucked as a teacher, but because the dumbshits hired me pregnant. I know that this is the reason I was fired because, as I was waiting for my first review, I HEARD THE SECRETARY TELL THE RECEPTIONIST THAT THE DISTRICT OFFICE WANTED ME GONE BECAUSE I WAS PREGGERS. Fun times.) Now, I'm pretty sure I don't suck as a teacher--although, I have to say the last couple of years have really tested that 'I'm good at my job' theory. I'm still pretty sure I'm good at my job--in fact, there are some days I'm absolutely positive I rock at it--but there are a lot of days (thank you Vainglorious Prickweenie who no longer works there!) that I think it wouldn't matter if I could teach a parrot how to do higher math, I'd still piss the world at large off because I'm fat, loud, and female. I know that this is possibly irrational, but at the same time, I also know I've dropped some balls this month. I've missed some meetings. My grades are not as up as they should be. A lot of shit that gets mentioned gets a faintly cross-eyed stare from me and a 'Uhm... we're doing that now?' There's a whole new discipline process that, frankly, has me boggled. And to make me seem slightly flakier, just when I had the 'get to work during my prep period with a fair amount of time left during my prep period' thing down, my babysitter moved, and now I'm lucky to get there with 1/2 my prep period left. I'm working on getting us out of the house earlier, but just like semi-trucks, kids neither stop nor start on a dime.

I like our new administration at this point. I really don't want to let them down.

And honestly, I'm so ambivalent about where I stand educationally right now. Do I want to hammer test results? Do I still believe the shit I used to? At this point, I'm spending less than 2 1/2 days a week on literature and writing--I'm pretty sure I believe that should be a completely different ratio, but we get 'test prep test prep test prep' hammered into us--for the best of reasons, and I'm just so torn. And I'm too, well, torn in different directions to be torn about this. I don't think I've got the brain pan left to make a rational decision about what I want to do in my classroom that is not based on succumbing to the pressure from the powers that be. So I coast along with a weekly schedule that used to fit my needs just fine, but now I'm not so sure. But I'm not sure how I want to change it either.

Wow--this post turned into a major drag, didn't it?

It shouldn't be. Tomorrow we are celebrating Chicken's 14th birthday. I've done big gooey posts for her in the past, but, true to her party this year I'm going for simple and sweet and adorable in her birthday post. We're having pizza and cake, per Chicken's request, and then we're settling down with her favorite movie and b-day present for a family evening of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Odds are good she'll be wearing a white bra underneath her boy's T-shirt, will have subdued her own personal rabid squirrel in the family pony-tail, and will give me a hug and a kiss and a 'thanks mom--it really is exactly what I wanted'.

I adore my Chicken--may we all get through these next few years well, and may she let me call her Chicken for many many years to come:-)

7 comments:

Galad said...

Not a major drag, just thoughtful.

Happy Birthday Chicken! Sounds like a perfectly lovely birthday plan. Enjoy!

Louiz said...

Meetings are never fun, especially when they interupt proper work.

And Happy Birthday Chicken for tomorrow (or is it today already?)

Hope it's a great one.

KnitTech said...

Enjoy the birthday Chicken.

Roxie said...

Crisis of faith in yourself as a writer? Darling, that's like having a crisis of faith in yourself as a caucasian. It's what you ARE! You don't imagine you could just give it up, do you? Any more than you could give up being an educator, even if you do eventually give up the school system. It's what you're good at. There, there, Sweetie. There, there. Your baby is growing up, change is hard, and you have a scarey book signing to face. And you will survive all this with your usual zest and glory. Give Chicken a kiss on the nose from me.

Donna Lee said...

Ok, deep breath. You are the kind of teacher I wish I'd had as a kid. And you turn a phrase like nobody's business. And you are raising pretty darn terrific kids (no small feat in this day and age). But you know all this. Deep down inside you know all this. It's just the cobbywobbles and we all have them once in a while. I hope the cold goes away and the book signing is an awesome success.

TinkingBell said...

Happy happy happy birthday Chicken (Hippo birdy 2 ewe!!)

Don't worry about the you as a writer bit - you really have it!

NeedleTart said...

In order:
From what I've been reading, you may have an tenuous grasp of grammar but the story you tell can make me laugh out loud *and* cry. So there.
Lately, the aides at my school keep telling me I'm a wonderful teacher and I should be doing this full time. Why am I so wonderful? Because I don't have to worry about the frelling tests. I just play with the subject at hand until we are all laughing our heads off.
Happy B-day, Chicken.