Saturday, August 24, 2013

Friday night exhaustion

I'm up! I'm refreshed! Thank goodness for a good night's sleep. We completed our first full week of school with children. I work with kindergarten kids, aged five. It is literally like herding cats. I was beat when I got home last night.

Source flickr jolene

When I got home I felt like someone had tied me under a white water raft and brought me through "The Washing Machine", dragged me under "The Agitator" and bumped me over "The Seven Sisters" rocks. But now it is a gorgeous morning, roosters are crowing, dew is glistening, and my body is (mostly) recovered.

When the little kids come to school it is one of the most traumatic events they will likely have experienced in their life, if they are having a normal life (absent a death or divorce). They are separated from their parents for more than a third of the day. They are put into an environment where everything and everyone is bigger than them, they meet hundreds of unknown people, and there is noise and cacophony unparalleled in their life (cafeteria). We ask them to do things they are barely capable of doing, (stay quiet, write their name, raise their hand to speak...) and they have to do it all day, every time.

Poor kids! It is necessary though, and they adapt quickly.

Luckily I work in a school where compassion reigns and the staff is gentle. I truly enjoy helping the kids that first week or two in the morning when they wander in to find their breakfast card and get in a long line of kids who tower over them. Sometimes they cry. Sometimes they're scared. Sometimes they exhibit a bravado they don't possess. Some of them just cling to a brother or sister's hand, looking wide-eyed at the crowd. I like to stoop to look in their eyes and quietly ask them their name and take a moment to say 'welcome to school', or 'I'm glad you're here' or something personal. If I can make them smile that is all the better.

I like it because it establishes a relationship with them that lasts all year. Even if I don't work directly with that child again, but only bump into them on the playground or the hall or the rest room lobby, they remember that first connection. Last year in April, out of the blue a boy I don't work with directly said,

"Remember that day you helped me?"
You mean at breakfast in the cafeteria?
That first week of school?
"Yeah. Thanks."


But it is very tiring. When I got home last night, I put my car in the garage because I do not intend to use it until Monday when I go back to work. I'll walk to church on Sunday and that is all the 'going out' I plan to do for the next 55 hours.

LOL, I remember when I was in my 20s and Friday night came and all I could think of was where was I going to go and what was I going to do that weekend. On Friday nights a gang of us used to haunt a new sports bar that had opened up. A brother of one of the teachers was the owner so we all piled in there to help him out. It was a nice place, too. Even though I never did like to drink alcohol, (just ginger ale) it was fun because they had what was then a newfangled thing called computerized trivia. We would play for hours.

Delivery of Norwich City Council's first computer, 1957. @HistoricalPics
Now, I don't know how I stood it, the bar noise and the sports on tvs stationed all over the bar and the beeps and squeals of the clumsy trivia games...ugh.

All I want to do on Friday nowadays is come home and be quiet.

I guess that is the difference between 23 years old and 53! Thirty years later all I can manage on Friday night after the first week of school is stopping at the Dollar Store for a bag of chips and lay down on the couch, munch, and watch Jeopardy.

But I can literally say that my life is all that and a bag of chips.

[groan] ha ha ha

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