[nov. 04, 2010. 17:22]
as m. stein, my former co-worker (one could say BOSS here… not tryin’ to mess with your titles, m.) used to tell me, the bigger my hair was by the end of the day, the more stress i had apparently suffered along the way. “when you’re stressed, you touch your hair more – and it gets… bigger!”
yes, well. here you have me… using my webcam as a full-length mirror this morning… and, later, well – judge for yourself. stressful day? very stressful day? or extraordinarily stressful day?
after a week and a half of vacation, i met a group of students i hadn’t worked with before – and within the first ten minutes, i had already asked a chatty student if she had a question. when she looked confused & finally said, “no,” i told her that since she didn’t have a question, she should stop speaking. point. finale. (i.e.: period.) the good news is, she not only stopped speaking, she started participating actively in the class, one of the few to regularly have her hand up. the bad news is: i felt like an ornery witch. i struggled to keep the class moving – asking them to quiet down more than once… and nearly cried when i gave them a direction & they all simply stared at me. they hadn’t understood my directions. had they understood anything i’d said at all?
i came home between classes, grumbling to myself: you will not quit this job because you think you are bad at it!
i ate a cheese & spicy ketchup sandwich (don’t knock it till you try it).
i made myself some coffee.
i paced around the house like angst could actually leave my body through the clomping of my feet (which might be the case).
i called. my. mom. who told me that feeling frustrated was antithetical to being creative and productive. i told her why i was frustrated. i told her about all of my fears – about how i was afraid that keeping order in class was going to alienate my students from me. and i told her about my big ideas for my second afternoon class – what i wanted to do, how i hoped it would come together. and i admitted that i needed to work on my big ideas – that i needed to make a plan for myself, to get myself on a self-designed arc of concretely outlined & organized lessons.
and then, this afternoon, my second class went ok. after fearing i wouldn’t have enough material, i ended up not having enough time. and when i had to ask one of my students to change seats, i didn’t, for instant, regret my decision. in fact, i wanted to give him a piece of my mind – but moving him was, in the end, sufficient mind-giving. he, and all of the people he’d been disturbing, started participating in the discussion.
now i’ve pulled my hair back for the evening & i’m considering a re-run of this afternoon’s comfort meal – cheese & spicy ketchup sandwich cravings… you can’t say no to them…
tomorrow will be another day – as, it appears, i haven’t quit yet.