Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Yay-Yuck Day

Today can best be summarized in one word:  loooooooong.  My head is crammed past capacity with new information, new concerns, new responsibilities, and my ever-increasing To Do list.  And the students start in just 6 days!

To begin with, let's get the "Yuck Ducks" out of the way:

1.  I've had an upset stomach and accompanying unpleasantness for the past two days.  Today, my neck felt left out of the pain-fest, so it started hurting badly around noon, leading to a full-fledged massive headache by the time I boarded the bus to leave school at 4:30.  Owing to the tummy issues, I haven't been able to eat much yesterday and today, which has made me feel even lousier.

2.  There is just so much to do, in such a short amount of time.  One teacher cheerily remarked to me today, "Don't worry about it; you WON'T get everything done."  Though well-intentioned, her comment did little to reassure me.

3.  The camera issue (see previous post).  I keep seeing interesting, odd, and/or beautiful things that I want to photograph!

4.  I bruised up both of my shins and my ankle the other day.

And, so as not to end on a negative note, here are the "Yay Ducks":

1.  The other teachers in high school are absolutely wonderful people.  I learned today that I will be a homeroom teacher to a group of ninth graders, in addition to my other responsibilities.  Three of the other teachers got together and switched around the class lists to deliberately give me a really good group of ninth graders, since it's my first year here.  So, I have the cream of the crop in my homeroom (honestly, there really aren't any kids that are bad; there are just a few that require a bit more work out of a teacher than others do).

2.  The school lunches here are really, really good.  For example, today we had a delicious yellow curry (which I would have enjoyed a whole lot more if I didn't have this very unhappy stomach).

3.  Tonight we're hosting a big group of people (9) for dinner and Psych.  Everyone is bubbly, friendly, and fun -- even to me in my present doped-up-on-pain-medication state.

4.  I've been getting some great ideas for my classes.  Three other teachers have commented that they really wish they could sit in on one of my classes!

5.  I get along famously with the head of the social studies department and with the high school principal.

6.  We had a faculty and staff picnic yesterday evening, where I got to meet dozens more people.  So far, all of the kids that I've met are really sweet, and people keep going on and on about what a phenomenal group of tenth graders we have this year (I teach both tenth grade history classes).

Despite feeling absolutely lousy (and drugged), I'd still say that Yay Duck is firmly in the lead.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"