Just about the time I get home and shuck off my shoes exhaustion usually comes crashing down on me like a pile of freshly kilned bricks. Within minutes I’m staggering, and then collapse on my bed, maintaining enough presence of mind to pull the sheets over my shoulders and turn my face toward the wall. Then, five minutes later, I wake up, force myself back onto my feet, and struggle to stay awake until after dinner.
At which point, perversely enough, I become absolutely wide awake.
Trust me, my sleeping rhythms are as discordant as they are annoying. Being a night owl is fantastic if you’re unemployed. And blows if you’ve got to rise up with the morning sun.
Of course, this fatigue crash is brought on and then massively exacerbated by a rough day at work. Today my first three periods were just out of control. I ended up calling a parent, sending a handful of students next door for a time-out in the team-leader’s room, forcing kids to sit on opposite ends of the room and then dealing with a girl who collapsed crying and distressed in the hallway after I pulled her out for swearing at another student. Man, by the time lunch came around I felt like I’d been in the trenches for ten hours already.
I hadn’t realized going into this job that I’d be on my feet for about seven hours straight, and what’s more, having to maintain the focus and attention of six different classes as I repeated the subject material for each one. It’s simply draining, massively so, and by the end of the day I’m running on fumes. Which makes the fact that I enjoy it even weirder. I don’t wake up in the morning groaning and dreading the day; rather, I look forward to forcing the kids into line, making them learn, getting them on track, dealing with their thousand and one hair brained excuses and problems and making sure that they’re not going to get through my class without learning something.
But I won’t lie. Friday is sounding mighty fine just about now.