Making sense

Anne Lamott, on writing ...

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.”

Saturday, March 29, 2008

How about library work?

OK. Here's the deal: I have an opportunity to "step down" from classroom teaching to move into the library, as an instructional aide. This means my primary job responsibilities would be shelving books and checking out books to middle school students.
Supposing I try for this position, which I'll probably get, considering I am more-than-qualified, that would mean I would have: a) no more lessons to plan; b) no more papers to grade; c) no more parent meetings to endure; d) no more IEP's or 504's; e) no more MAP preparation; f) no more papers to grade; g) no more surly kids (surly kids in the library are promptly asked to leave); h) no more teacher evaluations (weekly walk-throughs of my classroom); i) no more papers to grade.
Hmm ... .
Supposing I do, in fact, get this position, I will be paid approximately $20K less. That's a chunk of change.
Hmm ... .

Sunday, March 23, 2008

It's Easter!

My mood has lifted somewhat, considering it's Easter Day. I love Easter! I sat in Mass this morning telling myself how pathetic I have been acting, how pitiful it is to walk around all hunched over, feeling sorry for myself. I have so many blessings! So many successes! A ton of chocolate waiting for me at home and a Norman Rockwell ham dinner forthcoming.
Instead of thinking negatively about my friend's sale, I intend to proceed with sweetness and light, and celebrate her joy. My friend has earned every moment of glee. She's the hardest working first-time novelist I've ever known. The Sister knows how to market herself and get her name out in the world.
It hit me in church: I can learn from her. I am, after all, an educator. "Each one teach one," right?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Feeling ADD

So much to do today, but I can't seem to get started. Papers on the dining room table loom large; laundry needs finished -- why do certain members of this household put clothes into the washer and then the dryer but leave the items to wrinkle in a basket, unfolded and not hung, as though a Laundry Finishing Fairy will pick up the job ... I'm desperate for a Starbucks mocha frappuccino but not dressed yet to get in the car to purchase the drink; thought I cleaned the house well over spring break but wouldn't you know the dust is back (and pet hair is abundant, particularly on the wood floors ... now whose idea was it to replace the carpeting with wood floors?); should go to the gym but I have an annoying head cold.
The spousal unit returned from this business trip, and in some disturbing way I am not pleased that he has come home. My life is less complicated when he's not around. I feel ashamed at writing this, but it is true. It's like there's some sort of necessary re-entry period, like he is a space shuttle coming back into my atmosphere.
I feel lazy, lethargic, apathetic. Still upset about friend's sale to the publishing giant. Wondering when my day will come.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Career Crisis

I am in that ohmigod-what-do-I-do-next phase ... continue teaching (a job that I alternately love and hate with equal passion) or get back into journalism (writing feeds my soul)?

A friend in my writers' group scored a book deal today with Simon and Schuster. I don't know whether to throw her a party or throw her dead body into a lake. (Normally not prone to violence, I am angry at Self for even thinking such thoughts.) I am consumed not so much with jealousy (I AM happy for her, knowing how deserving and hard-working a writer she is) as I am with self loathing: Why didn't/don't I work as hard with my writing?

I'll tell you why, Self: because your time is spent educating today's youth. Teaching consumes me. Lesson planning and grading and disciplining and grading and too-frequent meetings with parents and administrators and grading ... .

Here it is spring break and my dining room table is heavy with papers to assess/evaluate.
What I really want to do with my time is rework the novel my daughter and I wrote two summers ago. I want to pen a short story about an amazing woman I met today in my sis's kitchen. I want to sit down and read every single Jane Austen book written (I watched The Jane Austen Book Club three times in the last four days.) I want to get Elizabeth off to school and go into my writing room and turn on NPR for company and write the day away.

I want my husband to allow me to write instead of constantly reminding me how much debt we have and why I must work.