Tuesday, August 15, 2006

At the beginning of this week I had been feeling really whiney about my summer being over. I wasn't firmly into my 2nd week back to work. I really loved having the summer off the train whenever I felt like it - which wasn't as often as I should - but if I had the time back again, I'd be a training fool, I tell you. Lately, I've beeing whining. A LOT. I want to be done. I'm ready to retire.

I know what you're thinking, "Double-barreled Athena, most people work 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year. How can you whine about having to go back for your 182-day contract?"

Answer: Because I am, by nature, kinda whiney and complainy and very spoiled. I'm finally starting to feel something click in my running, and I want to have lots of time to run. As it is, I have to report to work at 7:10, earlier if I don't want to wait in a line of cars or fight parents to get to my parking spot. Every year I've gotten less and less excited about going back to work. This year is no exception in that trend. Hmm: sunrise run in the desert hills, or a room full of sleepy 8th-graders who really aren't all that interested in learning about the scientific method? which would you choose? I went back to work last week with a heavy heart, and a petulent countenance.

At least, that's how I'd been feeling until yesterday. It took a new teacher to help me put things in perspective. I teach the block, 90-minute classes, three per day. I start teaching at 7:30 and finish up around 12:45, including a 30 minute lunch. Then I have a 90-minute planning period, and then I go home. Anyway, the new teacher on my team was sitting there during our planning period. Like a lot of new teachers, this is a second career for him. He used to work in the corporate world. I also have colleagues who used to be nurses, lawyers, and Naval instructors. When I went in to help him out with some things, he said, almost in a daze, "You mean we're done for the day?"

That's when it hit me: I have a very sweet deal. I go to work, get challenged in every possible way, and then I'm done for the day fairly early. If I can't work out a training schedule around that, then that's my problem. I'm one of the few lucky ones that get to do something that they're good at, and get paid to do it. Most of the time, people even acknowledge that I'm important, in some small way, to the machinery we call society. And, just before I start to feel like it's too much, I can't take it anymore, and burnout is imminent, I get a few days, or summer, off. I'm home when my son is home. If I need to leave early, I can pick up some work and take it home, and work on it while sitting next to my Husband in our home. My sons teachers and his coach are friends of mine, and most of the time I've got a very tight hold on how and what he's doing in school, which, if you've had a teenager, is no small feat.
They've made me angry, and frustrated, and sad, yes, but nearly every day a student says something that catches me by surprise and makes me laugh, a story that I share with other teachers.
Let's not forget that I get 10 weeks off at the peak of triathlon season to follow my bliss.

So now that I've worked through this via blogger therapy, I realize how fortunate I am. I don't feel whiny any more. I feel pretty lucky.

(By the way, if you're reading this, triathletes, you should know that we can always use more teachers. )


  1. need more teachers...bwa hwa hwa hwa !

    I am SO not taking that bait!

    and yes, you have nothing to complain about, missy. You DO have a sweet deal! So sweet, well, I'm a touch jealous.

    Like I tell myself: everybody gets the same 24 hours. It's what I choose to do with it that matters.

  2. Geez...I was feeling pretty good about my job until I read this. Now I'm considering therapy...Thanks Misty...THANKS A LOT! I'm going to down some ice cream now...


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