In the words of the immortal Pooh Bear: I’m stuck.
Hey now! Yes, I’m fat and in some sense, I’m feeling wedged in a hole. I’ve fallen out of practice with my notebooks. That idea of writing down the things that I hear, the words of students, or just situational things just hasn’t happened this year. My notebooks are strangely (and more appropriately, sadly) lacking in the stories of middle school life.
Don’t get me wrong, they are still there. I could write about the student who just walked by my room, covered in snow because “it’s a tradition” to jump in a snowbank. Or the student who walks by and has these bizarre nicknames (“Hey Pizza Man” “Hey Twitter”). Even the students who want me to “dab them up” with handshakes, high fives, or some sort of combination. And the students who just want me to listen to the story about their cats, their horses, their lives.
I’ve just not done it this year.
Mostly, it’s simply time. I get done with my first two hours of the day, and I’m tired. Thursday tired. I try to get some papers graded, get a snack, and prep for the rest of the day, because after third hour (my prep), it’s go time (minus a 20 minute lunch) before the end of the day.
I feel stuck professionally as well. Everyone talks about the “side hustles” which all seem like scams or giant pyramid schemes. Here, let me pay you money to join your network, then have to work hard to build my own network, all the while paying you. No thank you.
What’s interesting about my being stuck, others are too. I see titles of other bloggers I follow like “Currently, All Over the Place“, a blog about how her brain is everywhere! Or the conversation with a teacher from southern Iowa, stuck with his work because he’s close enough to retire he doesn’t want to leave and take a pay cut, yet, feels like education is literally wearing him out. Or the countless TikTokers I see, talking about the next big thing.
So, what do I write about?
I write about being grateful for my wife and daughters.
I write about our acreage, our little piece of heaven.
I write about my parents, who are alive and kicking in their late 70s. They’ve watched so much change take place, and had some much change in the last 5 years, yet, they bought a new house, sold the family acreage, and are about ready to pull the trigger on a 50 inch TV. They are amazing.
I write about basketball, my favorite sport.
I write about the Dallas Cowboys, the bane of my existence!
I write about the shitty things being done to teachers all over this country.
I write about the fools in our district with “Stop the Steal” and “This is MAGA Country” signs right where busses pass.
Tonight, I’ll write about cold, -23 cold by morning, cold enough to shut down schools!
I’ll find my notebooks. I’ll keep better notes. But in the end, it’s about the story, the experience, the slice of life. 🙂
January 26, 2022 at 3:44 am
I do see what you did there.. I think tired is the feeling of the year. I find myself wondering why I am so tired, wondering if this is how it feels at the beginning of the end. Then. I write about it and I’m revived.
January 30, 2022 at 11:41 am
I hear you. Sometimes the slice doesn’t have to be a small moment story with a beginning, middle and end, including dialogue and description. Sometimes the slice is the state of body and mind, a list, a snapshot of the mess. My notebook – let’s not get there.