Ready for School? Not Really

A student of mine that is in college did this portrait of me - it cheers me up. Thank you Brandon

It’s been a crazy week for me. I’ve been thrown into “back to school” mode due to a recent re-hire (last minute as usual), and I’m so excited to know I’ll be working with my kids another year. It’s hard being a teacher anyways, but when you teach Art your job feels as if it is always in flux. Due to funding cuts, other teachers that could teach your subject within their own, and testing requirements that schools have to meet, one can just never really know where they are going to be when one is not tenured.

This is where the test of Errant Easel will be for me. I’ll need to make sure I allow time for myself to be creative in another outlet other than teaching. I find myself already caught in a never ending search for one more interesting video to round out future lesson plans not even written while at the same time having an idea for an artwork and putting it off. I’ve decided for myself that life is too short to just focus on one area of it.

That happened to me before when I first got out of school. Work took over and by the end of it all, everything suffered for lack of differentiation. I can’t just worry about work because all the other areas will falter and I won’t be the teacher, or person, I want to be. A more holistic approach to life, career, and even love is better for me. If one area is ignored the other areas suffer. Believe me it’s not an intentional thing, it sorta just happens.

Too often it seems that we continually put off saying something or doing something because we can do it tomorrow. Now, I’m not talking about not getting milk or mowing the yard. In my own life it seems as if decisions get put off, dreams get put off, life itself gets put off because tomorrow sounds better than possibly being upset today. I hate that I’m guilty of that. I’m going to do my best to change that way of thinking in myself. If I think I’ll be a better teacher for it, I KNOW I’ll be a better fiance’ for it, a better daughter and sister for it – I’ll just be a better person for it. If things don’t work out the way I would like, it won’t be for lack of trying. This is a promise to myself and a hope for a great school year all wrapped in a confusing ball, but it’s been a confusing day or so.

When I started this blog, I had no intention of getting too deep or rambling on. A quick note about school starting and my getting ready to do it and make Art. While I was working, I found out a student of mine had passed away. He was going to be a freshman in high school this year. Now, I didn’t know him very well, but we had a really good nine weeks together. I thought he was funny and hated seeing him waste his potential by being a goof off and staying in trouble. I don’t even know really what happened to him, and won’t until I go to his visitation, but it doesn’t matter. He’s gone, and that’s all I can think about. My mind doesn’t just stop there though. It goes from how sad it is that he is gone, to how sad it is so many people I know are gone. Then I feel bad because this is a lesson I re-learn each time someone I care about dies and I can’t seem to retain it: life is precious and not a given, make the most of each day.

So here I am – sad for a life gone and afraid of a life wasted. I hate that my other kids (students) are upset and I can’t help them. There is really nothing I can say, but I can be there if they need me. Hopefully I’ll learn the lesson and not dwell on the bad things, of varying degrees, that happen throughout the day. I’ll remember that tomorrow’s not given as a promise, but as a possibility. I’ll just remember that everything has importance, it’s about choosing what’s the most important to you and being balanced. There is too much to think about now, and if I let it have a toehold, I can’t stop myself from crying.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Professor M...
    Aug 13, 2011 @ 23:06:19

    I lost the balance you seek years ago, but working with young people makes it more acceptable. I still manage to go out and play the sax in the garage occasionally and go out occasionally, but my life definitely revolves around teaching. May you find an acceptable balance that leaves you refreshed and rejuvenated. So glad you are back, and I know the kids are thrilled!


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