From the BK to the SK
 
This must be what it feels like to be bipolar, or at least this is the closest I will ever feel to it.
Every morning for the past week I've woken up and dreaded getting out of my bed and going to work and having to actually function. My co-worker, Nick, asked me if it was 'that time' for me during which, throughout the year here, NET's (native english teachers) will experiences a roller coaster of emotions from extreme bliss to extreme depression.
I thought about it, and strangely, no. It isn't that I don't feel homesick from time to time, but it is never an everyday feeling where I wake up and want to be back in Brooklyn. It's more like little things, like wanting a really good piece of pizza or wanting to just walk over to my best friends' houses or wanting to be at Blue and White weekend up at State. It's more like these little currents that are sent through your body and are over before you know it.
I've realized more this week than any other week that what I miss is college. I've written about this before, but I've been out of school a year now and the reality set in that you go to work, day after day, and you MUST function. In college, you could sit in the back of a 600 person lecture with your headphones on and fall asleep at your desk, or you could just write your name in bubble letters over every inch of your notebook page. (This is what I tended to do, as I always found it difficult to master the 'x' bubble letter and would constantly re-write my own name to try and achieve perfection.)
I miss having that ability to just zone out, to still feel like, 'Hey, I might not have paid attention in class, but I went to class."
When I woke up these past few mornings and genuinely didn't feel like teaching the same lesson on opinions or the same lesson on jokes/tricks, I realized it doesn't matter. No one cares, and there is no leeway. There's no option to sit and do nothing. I've run out of Mr. Bean episodes, Charlie bit my finger-type videos and Justin Bieber music videos (which causes my students to immediatelyfold their arms to make hearts above their heads), so I'm on a dry streak for entertainment. Now, I just have to be my stupid self and make the kids laugh by acting all 'crazy (this word never gets old for them)' in the front of the room. Sometimes I think I am too much of a pushover, too much of a fun teacher who doesn't necessarily take things (like my Rico Sauve co-teacher) seriously.
Not to mention that the other day, my jolly giant of a co-teacher told me he was 'hanged over', and at about 50+ years old with a body as big and long as a tree, he fell hard. He pulled a chair out, sat down and fell asleep right in the front of my class as I was teaching. What do you do in situations like these? It's like, you think I want to hear myself ask what their opinion is on soccer one more time? I'm pretty sure they'll hate it and so will I.
Anyway, where was I even going with this post? So yes, these past few mornings haven't been the easiest to get myself up and at 'em (is that the expression?). I never hit the snooze button on my alarm, but I've used it every morning this week.
Then, I get in the classroom and I fall in love. Today was one of those days where I literally couldn't imagine leaving again. It's getting harder by the day here. I don't know what loop or turn I'm at on the NET rollercoaster, but I'm certain this is the scariest one. I feel like we're in some dark tunnel where you can't see a thing and all you have is your emotions to guide you through and get out OK.
I know I didn't teach these kids English, let's be serious, but in the past 7 months I've watched them grow up. My kids are at that age where their bodies are going through changes, and over the course of time here I've seen them all grow. It makes my heart so heavy with tears that I know will come gushing out during my last few days here.
And, the thing is, as obnoxious as they can tend to be and as badly as they can misbehave, at the end of the day they're so cute because they do try really hard. Whether it's telling me to have a delicious lunch, which one 3rd grade boy always tells me, or one of my groupies trying to tell me she met a handsome boy at church. I don't teach the first graders, but it's so fun to sit with them at lunch time while they crush hard on the 3rd grade boys with the 'nice faces'. It makes me think of what it was like to be a 6th grader or a 5th grader and think all the older kids were Gods.
So yeah, this past month and a half has definitely been my hardest bout here, because I am realizing that this isn't forever. It's weird to have that epiphany, even though it really isn't anything of the sort. There always has to be a tomorrow, and as exciting as that is to look foward to, that means that sadly today has to end.
You'd think that after studying abroad and living in China and other travels I've done since then, it'd be easy to get over this bump in the road. You think I'd be on my way to becoming some kind of expert, but I am far from it, and it never gets easier. It just gets harder.
So, as much as I am counting down the days on my calendar until I have five whole months of traveling with one of my best friends in the entire world, I'm holding on to what's left of every day, not wanting to let it go.
 


Jeanne
04/05/2011 05:36

There always has to be a tomorrow, and as exciting as that is to look forward to, that means that sadly today has to end. - Alexandra Petri

Reality! Beautiful statement Alex!

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Macy
04/25/2011 09:52

There always has to be a tomorrow, and as exciting as that is to look foward to, that means that sadly today has to end. Alex this is my favorite line. I often feel this way all the time in a lot of different aspects in life but I couldn't find the words to describe it.

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