Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 30 2011

DISCOMFORT (at least it is an improvement from anxiety).

I woke up two hours ago to a dark, empty house. It’s Friday (or was at the time), and it was my suggestion to get the sleeping pill in a pitcher after school, which we all did. I was home at five, and must have been asleep by 5:15, because I didn’t get the missed call from 6:24, or 8:23, or 9:04, or 9:12, or 9:28, or 10:02. Or the six texts. why am I only popular while asleep? All of my return calls/texts were ignored, save Sarah (thanks, Sarah!)

All day today, or the vast majority of it, I was miserable. Not miserable like depressed, miserable like completely on edge. Like literally yelling “STOP.” in a kid’s face unintentionally; like sitting in a chair in the middle of the room for 10 straight minutes of fifth period as they worked in groups on a project I made up on the spot. Miserable like sending out an email at 10:30 asking for a meet-up after school. Miserable like screaming, screaming, the moment I closed the door to my car and I stopped my CD from skipping.

The AC in my classroom hasn’t worked since we went into the new building. For a while I just ignored it and propped the heavy door with a little yellow chair. But the door propping has gotten on my nerves (kids standing on the chair to talk to me, pretending they can’t walk around it, tripping over it, yelling to put it back when someone moves it, noise from the hall drifting in, blah blah blah). The heat ain’t no big thang first period, but by fifth my face feels like I’ve rubbing crisco all over it. My feet feel swollen. My clothes are uncomfortable. It’s not even that hot. It’s just stuffy and uncomfortable.

My kids are working on an in-class essay about a memorable moment from Reed. I had so many high expectations. I set an improvement goal with my PD that sounded really great last week. Overall, my kids have improved so much in terms of keeping track of their work, following my directions, being productive in class. But my directions get fitful and angry as the day goes on. My patience wears thin. I shake my head and put out one flat palm (“stop.”) more and more frequently.

It’s just today, and yesterday, and Wednesday. It’s been a long few days. As we get to the end of the year I am conflicted: one half desperately wanting order, amazing results, perfect investment before time runs dry; one half so tired of this, so ready to walk away for a month or two, so worn down and hopeless and aching. And that half finds it really hard to not have seen my sister, or dad, or brother since December. That half wants to sleep in the same bed as my dog. That half wishes this was just an internship like all those summers in college, that when this is over I’ll go back to my Kalamazoo apartment and everyone will still be there, and I will be like the person I was a year ago. Or better, two years ago.

Of course everything looks better, more attractive, in retrospect. I know that my last year of college was hellish and not anything I’d really like to go back to. I know that all of my friends are scattered across the United States or further. I know that I am a productive member of society, now. I know that I genuinely love my job, and that hormones and spring fever are the only things bringing me down. I know that even if that Kalamzoo still existed, the person I was when I lived there doesn’t. I’m not her anymore.

I’m truly happy overall, but if there was a reverse to the idea of every cloud having a silver lining, this would be it. Every sunny day has a sunburn? I don’t know.

I’m sick, again, by the way. I honestly thought buying my multivitamins and taking them regularly again would help. But after four or six days of clear sinuses, I’m back to goopy eyes and a nose full of greeeeeen. This is another huge reason why I’m so irritated at school. I can’t smell nor talk without a headache or a tissue.

Tomorrow is Memphis in May. Lord knows I got plenty of sleep during my five hour nap today, so I intend to wake up at seven, clean my room and get some things together, pack all the work I need to attempt in the car, and head out. Mumford & Sons! I am excited to see you.

4 Responses

  1. Shoshana

    we need to chat :)

  2. Wess

    Love youuuu!

  3. Kaitlyn

    Mumford and Sons, super jel.

  4. Auntie Sue

    It’s end-of-the-school-year blues. Find as many happy moments as you can for yourself and by yourself! You are that survivor I have always known. And the Delta will never be the same since meeting her Carolina.

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