I wake up tired from basketball the night before or maybe it’s my second job that brings me home around the same time the big hand hits the six and the little hand is halfway between the ten and eleven. It could be the blog I wrote that kept me up later than I had anticipated or perhaps an interview with the Voxcast went longer than expected. It doesn’t matter. The kids still need to get dressed, eat, and have their teeth brushed. Book bags need to be packed and we have to be out the door by 8:15.
I hop in the car and stop by Wawa (coffe shop). Coffee is a must. The hot liquid hits my lip and slowly I start to wake up. I walk into school haltingly. Each step forcing myself to professionally start my day. Then it happens. My eyes meet a student’s. The switch is flipped. I automatically let out a wzuuuuuup not letting them know just how tired I really am. Their face lights up. They were acknowledged. They were loved. I follow up my greeting with a fist bump or ask if they want a hug. I may question them about their weekend, their sports game, their sibling or one of a thousand other connection building questions. They answer and walk away ready to start their day knowing I care about them.
I stop in the office and sign in. I say hello to the secretaries and go behind one of them and shake her chair yelling earthquake. (That never gets old.) I pop my head in to my boss say hello and quickly make my way out before I get yelled at or asked to cover a class!
I walk by one of my favorite aids and greet her with a simple word: duty. We both laugh at the hilarity of the word and our childish humor. (I stole this from her other friend who does the same thing to her. I can appreciate good humor even if I am not the creator.) Laughter helps.
I continue down the hallway. Smiling and saying hello to every person I see whether they are young or old. Whether I have positive or negative emotions attached to the person of child I do not let it show.
I choose to ignore the exhaustion, the worry about my brother, or the stress of my parents unhappiness with me. I force myself to be positive in the present. There will always be problems. Someone will always be unhappy with what I am doing. That’s life. I won’t let my students see my struggle. They deserve the best version I can conjure of myself.
The bell rings. The day is ready to begin.
Watch this video. It does a really good job of helping to explain my mindset. I know him calling the lady fat is wrong. The rest of the message is amazing.
This is Water-David Foster Wallace from alexander correll on Vimeo.