Sunday, December 11, 2005

Things I Learned While Teaching on Four Hours of Sleep Last Week

The first day is really, really good. That back against the wall feeling, where you get it down, overcome your weariness and over-compensate with the caffeine and dynamicism. Things get done. Learning occurs. Big time.

The second day is very bad. The waking up is much harder for one, and the dressing of the self goes poorly, with blank-out periods that last too long, one sock in hand, the other half on the foot. The commute is bad, with the long blinks and the windows down and the radio up. In class you get grouchy and have no patience with the perpetual nonsense you struggle to have patience defusing anyway. "Just stop," becomes your management tool of choice.

The third day gets better. You critically self-examine and realize that "Just stop," is a poor management tool. Also, drifting onto the shoulder while going 85 is bad, so you stop that, too. You get through the day and things are pretty good.

The fourth day is very much like the third, but only because Thursdays are shortened because of collaboration. Your ability to analyze your thoughts before speaking them into words is short-circuited somewhat, so at the staff meeting you say, "Rookies who break two overheads don't get new ones," to the first year TFA and he probably thinks you were serious. But you weren't.

The fifth day starts very well, with that over-compensation thing going strong. You know that slowing down equals death. You are a shark, a big one, and you will keep swimming today because if you don't, you drown. Drowning is bad. At the field trip to the college you lobby extensively to have the practice-x-ray dummy that does not have a name, but does have human teeth named after you. Perhaps you lobby too hard. You start yawning. A lot. You may have fallen asleep on the bus back. There, you are faced with a moral decision. Because of complicated situations, you went on the field trip with the on-grade-level GATE class, who listen when you say, "Be cool today, follow directions, and like, don't chase every single squirrel you see." You can go to 7th period with them, leaving your volatile group with the sub, or you can rejoin your own lovelies for the last hour. You fall asleep briefly in the front office while contemplating this. Later, you fall asleep for a few minutes on the drive home. Then you fall asleep on the couch, wishing you had the 5th season of the West Wing. Then you fall asleep for real at 6:30, thinking that having a life is a pretty bad trade-off on this 4 hours of sleep thing.


Blogger posthipchick said...

Institute all over again.

But without the roommate, heat, and nasty-ass food.

8:28 PM  

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