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.”

Thursday, June 11, 2009

LSAT and meatballs and professional jealousy

On Monday, my 21-year-old son took his Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). In the days leading up to the exam, the household experienced a mild-to-medium level of distress. Son was alternately hyper ("I'm going to law school!") and depressed ("I'm going to fail the test," "No law school will have me," "I'm going to end up a teacher.")
I gotta say: That last comment hurt me.
I am a teacher.
Why don't any of my children want to go into education? Is it because they: a) know I make very little money; b) am frequently chained to the dining room table grading papers; c) hear me complain about the child that makes me want to set my trash can on fire?
As my husband has long said, I am the abused wife of education. I love it; I hate it. It knocks me down; I get back up. It beats me up; I leave it. "Shoot me in the head if I go back to teaching," I said, years ago, when I left the field. I was burned out, my brain fried, my emotions charred. Just couldn't discipline one more child. Didn't want to grade one more paper.
And then, like the beaten wife who returns to her husband because she loves him, I went back.
"So do you want me to use an air dart or a BB gun?" my best friend asked when I admitted I'd signed yet another contract.
Next year marks my fifth year back in the classroom. With the exception of becoming a famous author (read: wealthy) or a full-time grandmother or the owner of a Victoriana boutique I cannot imagine doing anything else with my life.
OK, so I'm really good at the kitchen thing. Now that school is out for the summer, I've been tying on the apron. My meatloaf and corn casserole dish from Tuesday was well received by the visiting sister-in-law; the family enjoyed Monday's grilled chicken meal. Tonight I'll be serving a steaming bowl of spaghetti with meatballs. The house smells garlicky and subsequently fantastic-o!
On a separate note, I'm feeling a bit blue today. A writers' group member will soon go on the book signing tour to promote her YA novel HATE LIST (hitting bookstores in September). I'm happy for her, as I know how much she's desired publication ... but I'm sad for myself because it's not happening to me. Feeling rather childish, actually, as though my big sis has stolen my coveted chocolate bar.
Grow up, Kate!


L.Wright said...

I love your blog. I'm a teacher too and I can appreciate your love/hate relationship with the profession. I've done the middle school language arts thing, and now I'm down in 4th grade having left the adolescent angst behind. Sort of. It's the testing, testing,TESTING here in Wichita that leaves me feeling like I've been run over by a truck. Thanks for your witty and hilarious comments.
Leslie Wright

Kathleen Stander said...

I JUST now (Sunday, 1:39 p.m.) found your response. Sorry for not responding several years ago :(
Update: I left teaching June of 2011. My mother was dying and my soul was dying and I hated my principal and there were entirely too many fights in the hallway and I was just not diggin' teaching anymore.
Currently I substitute teach several days a week to get my husband off my back about making money; also, I kinda miss being out in the world.
Are you still in the classroom, Leslie? What keeps you going?