I’m long overdue for a post, I know. Life was hectic for a little while. Teaching (even if only three days a week) was really taking a toll on me. Kids are nuts right before summer break. Actually, I should rephrase: Teaching three days a week, working two other jobs, and attending rehearsals 5 times a week was really taking a toll on me. But now that school has been out for almost a week, I’ve had some time to recharge and rejuvenate.
But just to give you an idea of how frazzled I was, here’s an example of my state of mind the past few weeks:
Exactly four teaching days before the last day of school, I was a mess. I had been at rehearsal until 10 the night before – which means I didn’t get home until 10:30 or so. After searching for parking for far too long, I finally got into my apartment when I realized that I had a meeting with my principal the next day. Kind of a big deal. All teachers have to meet with the principal at the end of the school year for an evaluation. I had to show data examples of my students’ ‘growth’ in drama (please don’t get me started on assessing a creative class like drama and how difficult that task is) and discuss what I had learned after a year of teaching in this district. Basically, there was a certain amount of paperwork and data that I had to bring to the meeting, and (of course) I had not completed it.
Since I am a procrastinator of expert proportions, I decided that 11 p.m. was not the time to finish all of this said paperwork. I decided to just arrive to school early the next morning to finish things up. Easier said than done since my morning routine had diminished into a ‘how long can I stay in bed and not be embarrassingly late’ philosophy. So, on this day (the third to last teaching day) I was rushing around to say the least.
The forecast was for rain, so I had my rain coat in the car, and I had no food in my fridge so the Dunkin’ Donuts drive thru was necessary. On the drive to school, in between bites of my delicious sausage/egg/cheese croissant, I was giving myself a pep talk. “You are a good teacher. This meeting will go well.” Everybody gives themselves’ pep talks like this, yes? I arrived at school, quickly gathered my arm full of belongings, and hustled to my desk to complete my meeting paperwork in the 25 minutes before my first class.
At some point that morning, I could not locate my keys. I didn’t worry too much about this. At the very worst, I figured the keys were locked in the car. Since I’ve already done this once this year and I have a Triple A card, I knew from experience this would not be terribly difficult to fix. My lunch break was spent printing off the dreaded paperwork and actually attending the more dreaded meeting with the principal. The meeting went fine (except, of course my paperwork was wrong and I had to be walked through the proper way to do it), but it took up my entire lunch hour. I would just have to wait to locate my keys later.
I finished up my afternoon classes and remembered there was a faculty meeting. I don’t think anyone who is a teacher enjoys a faculty meeting. During a dull moment, I mentioned to the librarian that I might have locked my keys in my car and she urged me to go and investigate. I slipped away and what did I find? My keys were in fact still in the car….and in the ignition….and, oh yeah, the car was STILL RUNNING!!! I could not believe it. It was around 4 o’clock which means the car had been running for last 7 and a half hours! I could not believe my stupidity. Not to mention that the little gas that was in the tank was now gone. I wasn’t completely out, but I was playing the ‘wait until pay day’ game which meant I didn’t want to shell out another $25 dollars worth of gas.
Anywho, finding the car running was humiliating enough, but I had to go back to the meeting and tell the librarian what happened. She was very nice, and said she had done something like that before (only for one hour), but another fourth grade teacher overheard my story and gave me a ‘how could you be so stupid’ look. I made an awkward joke about my brain already being on summer vacation and then tried to look busy reading a piece of paper.
So, I’m really glad no one happened to be strolling down that street in Evanston and decide to take my car for a joy ride! I guess a stolen vehicle would have been a lot worse than just intense embarrassment caused by my own oversight. Anyway, the last few days of school were not nearly as eventful, but I have certainly let myself have a bit of a break. I’ve still been working the other two jobs and going to rehearsals – BUT I’ve also watched all of Season 3 of The Walking Dead and played quite a bit of Candy Crush on my phone. Nothing repairs my psyche like t.v. and addictive iPhone games. Here’s to summer break!