I’ve been absent for some time from this blog, and this isn’t necessarily the mark of my return. Rather, I’m just touching base to let anybody who checks this know that I’ve fallen into the deep dark hole of teaching middle school English. Language Arts, it’s called, which makes me feel like the master of an esoteric and slightly bullshit realm. I now teach six periods a day, each class averaging about twenty five 8th grade kids. And man is it tiring. I get home each day, riding on the fumes of an empty internal gas tank, drift over to my bed and then crash for a couple of hours. Face plant, pretty much, into oblivion.
Or at least, I did for the first few weeks. Now its much more manageable. Even though I have to remain front and center, the star of the show, keeping the kids’ attention for six or seven hours straight each day, its no longer as emotionally draining and intense. Everything becomes routine after awhile, and the kids, well, they’re great, and furthermore, they’re falling into line. Last Friday I had an insurrection, and I crushed it by doling out seven detentions and calling two different sets of parents. This week? Much better. Only two detentions thus far, and the kids seem almost relieved. Like they’re glad they can relax and not worry about testing me anymore. Like they can just get on with the business of doing what every 8th grader is most concerned with: flirting with each other while pretending not to. That, and reading Twilight.
So yeah. I’ve become an 8.20am to 4pm kinda guy, up at 7 and in bed by 12. Regular as clockwork, with a lunch bag and a shirt and tie, with meetings and agendas, lesson plans and warm up exercises. Hundreds of people suddenly call me by my last name, and I get to explain to kids why ‘The Lady, or the Tiger’ is a cool story despite its strange ending, or why ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ is creepy and deliciously well written.
Anyways. I’d blog about teaching, write down anecdotes from the classroom and hallways, let you know about my attempt to trick the kids into thinking I know what I’m doing and so forth, but thus far teaching has absorbed the whole of my life. When I get home, the last thing I want to do is write about it. Maybe that will change now that I’m over the hump. Maybe I’ll start to post things a little more frequently. Ask you guys for advice on things like how to respond when a 13 year old girl tells you she likes your jeans because they make your ass look good.
But if I don’t, you’ll know why. I’m probably just investing my time in some serious napping.