Sunday, May 25, 2014

Bleh, May is busy.

My life these days has been consumed with five things, most of which culminate to a crescendo in May:
  1. Teaching my three classes
  2. Being a department head
  3. Being a union rep
  4. Coaching a baseball team
  5. Organazing a field trip from hell
Here's how each of those is going.

1. Teaching

Well, my afternoon classes are great. My morning class is crazy, and getting crazier by the day; I spend 70% of my time during the day that I spend on my classes thinking about them, dealing with their bullshit, talking to the VPs about them, calling parents, and so on. I just hope I can steer them through the next 18 classes without me murdering anyone.

2. Department head

I think the other people in the department are noticing the state I'm in these days; as part of our weekly Friday Treats, the lady who did it this past week (a.) baked us a rhubarb pie, (b.) from scratch, (c.) with rhubarb from her garden. Possibly the best pie I've had in a decade. And she said she did it because she thought I'd appreciate it, because I've been stressed out like crazy lately. Ain't that nice?

3. Union rep

We're in the thick of the staffing process, and new information is coming at us all the time (including this past Friday at 4:30ish). So, I have to hold the VP's hand and make sure all the staffing rules are followed; seniority and qualifications, ahoy. Plus, I have to deal with assorted boneheaded bullshitty things that teachers do that might get them in trouble. Honestly, folks, stop doing stupid stuff.

4. Coaching

There comes a point in almost every teacher-coach's season where you start rooting against your own team, so maybe, just maybe the season can be mercifully over and you can have your life back. But this year was different; I wanted the fellas to win the regional title. We would've had a good shot too, but we lost in the semifinal in a tight 7-5 thriller.

5. Field Trip

Since I started teaching, we've taken physics classes to Canada's Wonderland to do experiments on the roller coasters; kids ask me on the first day of class if we're going. But the board is scared shitless of turning kids loose in an amusement park, even if what they're doing is curriculum-related. So, working with the other VP, we figured out a way to change things so (a.) it's slightly shittier for the kids, but (b.) it was to get approved by our superintendent (i.e., above our principal). We finally did, and we go tomorrow, and holy hell was that a lot of work.

Naturally, when I get home, I'm a tired boy. So, pesky stuff like marking and a lot of good, forward-thinking planning? Heh, that just gets pushed off to later -- and I feel like my classes are suffering because of it. But, as soon as I stop getting pulled five different ways every day, I'll just get right on that.

(I like to joke that when I enter my department office and the first words I hear are someone saying, "Oh, there he is" -- which inevitably means that someone's been looking for me to go do something else, probably urgently -- that's the worst thing I can hear. Because it usually ends up with me dropping whatever three things I was already doing, and going somewhere else to put out some fucking fire that popped up out of nowhere.)


Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Left Elbow Chronicles: Day 3.

On the morning of Thursday, May 15, 2014, I woke up with a sore left elbow. This set of blog posts is meant to document and capture the ordeal associated with said elbow: straight from the heart. No filter. Only the raw truth.

* * * * * * * * * *

Yeah, guess I forgot to do this last night. It's pretty much all better now I guess.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Left Elbow Chronicles: Day 2.

On the morning of Thursday, May 15, 2014, I woke up with a sore left elbow. This set of blog posts is meant to document and capture the ordeal associated with said elbow: straight from the heart. No filter. Only the raw truth.

* * * * * * * * * *

A bit of redness at the surface. Not quite as tender to the touch. Swelling may have gone down a bit, but can still see it some.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Left Elbow Chronicles: Day 1.

On the morning of Thursday, May 15, 2014, I woke up with a sore left elbow. This set of blog posts is meant to document and capture the ordeal associated with said elbow: straight from the heart. No filter. Only the raw truth.

* * * * * * * * * *

I woke up and it felt like I'd banged my elbow against a wall, really hard. It felt like it'd been bruised. I took two Advil.

By mid-morning it was slightly swollen, and warm to the touch. Swelling was noticeable at close-range.

Tonight the pain has subsided a little bit, but it's still very tender.

End of Day 1.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

It's been a little rough lately.

Last night, Friday night, party night, woo!

...and I was asleep on my couch at 9pm. Slept until 1:30, got up, went to bed properly. That's the kind of week it's been.

At work, I have four roles these days:
  1. Classroom teacher
  2. Department head
  3. Union rep
  4. Baseball coach
Sometimes, union stuff dominates my life. Other times, it's department stuff. For the months of April and (especially) May, baseball is all I really think about... but then there are those pesky classes, always there, every day. My job would be a lot easier if I didn't have to teach.

The other day, as I was sitting at a computer waiting for my email to load, checking it to see if any of the three people in my department who were away that day had sent in lesson plans (two did), I thought to myself, "Imagine if this was someone else's problem. You walk into the building, you worry about teaching your classes, you do that, and you go home. Wouldn't that be wonderful?"

This has got me thinking about not re-applying for the department head gig when it comes back up in... uh... two-plus years. Oh god, two more years of this bullshit? (Not that I mind doing it; I like organizing things, fixing stuff, and generally helping people out. But right now, it's not something I, y'know, need in my life.)

The union rep thing, well, I suppose I could finish out the year and just say, Sorry folks, I need a year off from it. And I think the rest of the staff would understand; I'm pretty visible, always doing stuff on some level, all throughout the year. Some times are busier than others: we're in the thick of staffing for next year right now, and we still have people who are surplus to our school (we aren't going to be able to squeeze them all in, unfortunately; hopefully they land gigs somewhere else in the board).

Also, when somebody does something stupid and they get reprimanded for it, I gotta be in on the whole process (unless it's huge and goes way past me). Fortunately, that hasn't happened in a little while -- or, rather, the ongoing situations seem to be in a holding pattern right now -- so that's alright.

The baseball thing... over the next two weeks, that's gonna be my life right there. We play five games in eight school days, which means my afternoon classes basically won't see too much of me until right before the long weekend. It's good that the season is short, of course... but I've had to put so much time and effort into paperwork, organizing people, wrangling hats and jerseys (neither of which will be in by our first game, whoooops), the season itself is almost anticlimactic in contrast. I just hope we win some games.

Add to this my grade 9 class, which is fucking insane, and it hasn't been too pleasurable a time lately. Plus, this girl that I went out with and got along great with and called on the phone and talked for hours several times with, well, she thinks you're a really neat guy and I think we'd work better as friends and I hope that's okay with you. Well, it's not.

Hence... asleep by nine. With no regrets whatsoever.