The client has recently been "missing in action," or "MIA," as it has been termed, from her regular blogging antics. She appears to have developed a recent compulsion for home shopping, single-handedly moving large furniture back and forth, watching and re-watching mundane television programs, and eating obscene amounts of sugar-filled delights. Consumed by a somewhat new-found calling for decorating, she finds herself deliberating between the fresh appeal of the color "tangerine" and the soothing essence evoked by "apricot" (but then quickly loses focus and hunts for a snack). Unable to visualize in her head the layout and coordination of items, she splurges on unnecessary accessories in multiples colors and sizes at every local store within reasonable driving distance. Upon returning home, she piles her treasures up in the center of whatever room she is currently decorating, moves them around for several hours, formulates new ideas, heads out the next day to buy more, and then eventually returns nearly all purchased items, as she has changed her mind altogether.
The client also complains of physical and mental exhaustion. Pressed for more details, she provided her daily schedule: Upon waking up somewhere between nine and eleven o'clock, she enjoys a cup of coffee, consumes a healthy dosage of important updates from her favorite reputable website, www.people.com, and then heads out for an afternoon of shopping, swimming, reading, or chatting. She then returns to do some heavy cleaning (upwards of 15 minutes) and settles in for the evening with a bowl of cereal and whatever television programs might be airing. She repeats this the next day, sometimes adding in a leisurely stroll about the neighborhood if feeling particularly energized. Overall, the client reports feeling that she is overexerting herself and might need to cut out one or two activities in her packed day.
At my urging, the client promises to try to slowly return to her normal routine, including blogging on a somewhat regular basis, exercising, eating a vegetable now and then, doing schoolwork, and waking and sleeping at socially acceptable hours, as this might help her ease back into a healthier way of living. Updates to follow.
I just counted the number of books I am currently reading: five. I don't even have that many rooms in my apartment. They are scattered about, one in the bedroom, one in the living room, one on the kitchen counter, and one in the bathroom (yes, I read on the pot, and you do too, just admit it). The fifth is currently MIA but around here somewhere, I just know it. And yes, I am truly reading all of them, but in fragmented, hurried spurts. This speaks to the state of my mind lately--lots of different mental drawers are open at one time, and I can't seem to focus enough to shut a single one before opening another. Pretty soon the whole dresser will just topple over from the weight.
Pug and I were just discussing yesterday how lately my words can't keep up with my thoughts. I'm afraid that they just keep spilling out of my mouth as they come to me, and I can assure you that there is not one ounce of elegance to it. I am surely frustrating company for those used to following a logical thought process. I literally cut myself off mid-sentence, invent several new words a day by frantically combining several together, and jump from topic to topic like it's nobody's business. Even while typing this blog, I've gotten up three times when something new popped into my head.
School has been so busy that I haven't been able to keep up, which makes me feel overwhelmed, needed, and guilty at the same time. I think I need to try some of the deep breathing and focusing exercises that I teach the kids at school. Self--cut out all this "I need to carry the whole Earth, and maybe Saturn and Jupiter and hell, Pluto as well, on my shoulders" crap and just calm down and eat a donut.
This week has been absolutely overwhelming. Some days here I don't feel busy enough, but this week I was lucky to eat lunch by 3:30. I need a pair of skates the way I run up and down the halls. I literally had kids lecturing me for not getting to them soon enough after they left notes for me. I want all of them to feel heard and important, but I think they forget there are almost 500 of them and only one of me. Two little girls: "Umm, this is the THIRD time in two days we came looking for you. You SAID we could talk!" I found myself hanging my head in shame and repeatedly apologizing for not being more responsible.
Anyway, I was hanging with one of my kiddos who is often very unpredictable and difficult to read, so I decided to give him a short learning styles profile and multiple intelligence assessment to gather more information about the best ways to work with him. I read him the questions aloud as he played with my big orange squishy stress ball and made farting noises into it with his mouth. Yuck. But I pick my battles, and this was not one of them. Anyway, one of the true/false statements toward the end of the multiple intelligence test was: "I am concerned about how others feel." When I read it to him, he looked at me like my head had suddenly sprouted an extra set of eyes. He replied, "No! I'm eight." Oh, honesty! Needless to say, interpersonal intelligence did not turn up as a particular strength of his.
This week I had two more, "I never thought I'd hear THIS in elementary school" moments. What is going on?! Some days I feel like a high school counselor and that my little people are so much older, more mature than their appearances would suggest. Despite anonymity, I do not feel comfortable sharing many of these stories here, but I am keeping a journal of the heartbreaking, strange, awkward, and of course funny occurrences that I have already occurred in my short 6 months on the job. I have never once felt bored. What will next week bring?
It's finally here and we're seemingly worlds apart now. You have always been the protector, the trailblazer, and now is no exception. You are at this very moment making a profound difference for so many.
When I think about it, there's nothing I'd rather be doing than simply lying in the grass beside you embellishing tales from the past and weaving glimpses of the future.
My mind is heavy, but I look ahead to the days that bring us together. My dearest friend, you will never know how much I admire you for even the simplest things.
I have daily breakfast duty at my school. It's a real treat. The smell alone in the cafeteria sufficiently stifles my appetite for at least 6 hours. This morning a child threatened to dump her carton of strawberry milk down my leg again. She got me real good before winter break--my sock and shoe were soaking wet for hours. Although I have to say that it beats having syrup dripped down your pants. I disliked that very much.
Today after the morning bell rang I was left supervising one dawdling little seven-year old. She is the long lost poster child for "ragamuffin." No front teeth, mismatched rumpled clothing, wild tangling hair, speech impediment....the whole bit. Anyway, she opened her chocolate milk, took a big gulp, scrunched up her face, and yelled, "This tastes like horse shit!"
"Excuse me?" I whipped around. She repeated it.
It was a full minute later before I figured out that she was trying to say "Hershey's."
Scrunchy face + disdainful tone + "hoorshee" = horse shit, no? Apparently not. And thankfully so, because I wouldn't have been able to keep a straight face to reprimand her for such a comment anyway.
I received an email tonight from a current student studying at my undergraduate college. She indicated that she was contacting me because she was interested in knowing how I had transitioned as an English Literature student firmly embedded in the world of academia to a working professional. She was seeking some worldly advice, as she found herself in the exact same position in which I had been upon pending graduation (please note: As a former English major, I never end a sentence in a preposition). "Worldly" being a synonym for my name, I am, of course, the perfect person to provide such advice.
Let's see. How do I use my undergraduate degree? Well, I read books occasionally (and by books, I mean celebrity magazines). And, I write. This blog, for example, is a direct application of the hard-earned money my parents so generously bestowed upon the advancement of my impressionable young mind. Amazing, right? Oh, but she wants to know how the degree can help her find a JOB in the REAL WORLD?
After further consideration, perhaps I shall just pretend as if I never received her email.
Speaking of job, I had better get back to writing my self-evaluation for my impending assessment, or yours truly might be back to pondering the same question as my new little college friend.