I am an English teacher at a small public college. Okay, I’ve been told my title is that of a “professor.” It’s even on my business cards the school made for me. But I tell my students every term that I feel I haven’t truly earned the title simply because I’ve not earned a doctorate yet, and I keep finding great problems in my own teaching strategies that need constant refining. I think the title of “teacher” is best for me simply because that is what I actually am at work. Oh, sure, I’ve gotten sucked into the whole committee/in-service slog like anyone else, but my job, such as it is, is to educate my students so that they become “able” writers. I just want them to be able to communicate well in their writing when they’re finally off to find independence in the big, scary world. Hopefully, there will be relatively well-paying jobs for them. Nothing that exceeds their ridiculously high expectations though.
The job itself is incredibly tiring, mind-numbing, soul-sucking in fact. It DRAINS you. When I get home from a long day of having brainstormed for at least 50 or so students who can’t come up with anything to write about and then line-edited all of their work for them (since the majority of them in this area of the country cannot write coherently at all), all I want to do is stare blankly at something, usually at the bottom of a wine glass (where I then wonder what the hell happened to the wine that was supposed to be in it and spend a good deal of time trying to determine if I actually drank any of it, and if I did, did I enjoy it) or at a bit of good TV. I don’t want to read, don’t want to talk to or deal with people. It takes everything in my power to WRITE, which I do anyway, even while my mind and body beg to stop.
The anti-teacher brigade — you know, the ones like teaching “expert” Michelle Rhee who think that everything in education is the fault of the teacher, that we’re not doing enough for students and that we’re all so overpaid and able to take long “vacations” — would make a good argument with me right now. I’ve got 2 more weeks free of all that, but with everything we deal with at our work, we English teachers and profs damned well deserve it. Not only that, many of us teach over the summer anyway because the pay is so awful in this state.
Anyway, besides TV, here are a couple of ways I like to wind down from the hell of work:
Take a little walk around the lake nearby.
(I am often rebellious and sit on the grass for a bit before pridemonger lakeland-possessive catches me there, minding my own business)
Mimosa or Raspberry “champagne” (cold duck) cocktail post walk. I’m not picky.
(Isn’t it just…beautiful? I love you, beautiful, you AND your friend.)
When the money’s not so bad for the month, I get a pedicure at a local, cheap nail place.
(Aaaaaand the stress of my job starts all over again, even though I need to “relaxes.”
AWRGGGGHHH! It’s “SCENTS,” damn you! “SCENTS“!)