Thursday, April 4, 2013

I Hit the Wall and I'm Not Even an Athlete

This has become a slog through the swamps of sadness, and I'm about to pull an Artax.

I know this deserves a gigantic #firstworldproblems . . . or maybe #overeducatedsuburbanhousewifewannabeproblems.  (I'm not technically a housewife, yet.)  I know there are people out there who would KILL to have a job, let alone this job.  I know my experience is NOTHING compared to teachers who teach K-12 in inner city schools--I've seen all those movies, y'all--so when I fuss about not wanting to go to work, I'm sure that a Baltimore city teacher who just "cares too much" dies or something.  (Note, I said CITY teacher, not county; I watched The Wire, I know what's up.)

But I'm not sure how I'm going to do this.

I never really understood that whole idea of the wall long distance runners hit.  I mean, I'd heard of it, and it sounded awful, but since I'd never physically taxed myself even close to anywhere near that, I didn't actually get it.

I get it now.

Not physically, of course, but mentally.  I loathe going to class, even though I like a vast majority of my students.  I will do just about anything other than grading or class planning until I'm forced (usually by a deadline publicly set by pre-fuckthisshit me), but I still refuse to just give completion grades and busy work.  I have basically checked out and am just waiting for this semester to be done, but I still have this annoying little shred of integrity that Will. Not. Die.  (And oh God, have I tried to murder that merciless little bastard.) I'm basically still going to work and still teaching on willpower alone.  There is no love, there is no joy, there is no satisfaction, there is no hope; there is only responsibility (and this little voice chanting just quit, just quit, just quit.)

I signed up for this.  I committed to teaching this semester--this WHOLE semester.  I told both the college and my boss they could depend on me.  Hell, I told these students (well, the ones that are left) they could depend on me, and learn from me, and expect the best from me.

But Jesus, It's like being in a failed marriage--I am just WAITING for the last kid to go to college so I can get the fuck out.

And I'm resentful of every single moment this class--this job--takes away from me: from my life, from my plans, from my opportunities, from my future, from my marriage . . . from my son.

And I am perilously close to becoming that which I hate most: a teacher who no longer gives a shit.  It would be so easy to just say "you turned it in, here's a completion grade," or "here's a grade but no comments or explanation, whatsoever."  Hell, it'd be easy to just meet in the library for the rest of the damn semester and make the rest of the days RESEARCH DAYS!  (I mean, if I don't want to work, why should I make them?)

But I haven't resorted to easy . . . yet.  I'm still fighting.  I'm bloodied, bruised, and weaving like a drunk driver, but I'm still in the ring.  But I'd love to fucking forfeit.  The next time I get hit, whether it cleans my clock or not, it will take everything I have to not just stay down.  (BTW, I know absolute shit about boxing, so if you do, me and the American cinema are really sorry.)

You know, I actually hadn't thought of that library idea before writing this; perhaps it deserves some serious consideration.


Yeah, that's pretty much the standard tone of conversation in my head these days.

I'm going to keep on keeping on, and when I make it I'll be expecting a green ring from Oa to float off a dead dude's finger and down to my own--because if I can do this, if I can just keep going, I can CERTAINLY protect my sector of the goddamn universe with my will alone.

[Blog post book-ended with nerdy references FTW.  And do I ever need a win . . .]

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