Thursday, March 09, 2006

mini-nervous breakdowns and such

It has been a weird week for me. I feel my old sadness creeping and my anxiety whispering when no one is looking. I had a mini-breakdown yesterday-- and at work nonetheless! This had been ruminating for awhile and was really a culmination of sadness, exhaustion, heartache, frustration, and despair. I need change. Something needs to change. I just don't know what yet.

It all began with me sleeping for over twelve hours on a Tuesday. I started to feel sick and couldn't wake up.

No, really it started before that. Much before that, but here is the most recent path to the breakdown. I woke for work the next day and sensed I was emotionally sensitive, yet I went in hopeful. I had a coverage that went nicely and I thought I would have a smooth day, until I started the first of my classes. To keep this story slightly shorter, that period I suspended someone, next perioded I suspended someone and gave two detentions. The next period was lunch and one of the students I suspended had me listen to her excuses for herself for more than ten minutes of my measley lunch break. I walked away. I made a cup of coffee, took Patti with me to the Ladies Room and cried. For all that had welled in me about this thankless job. About my mounting anxieties that even Zoloft can't seem to cure. I am not satisfied. I didn't work so hard to be treated like a nothing. I don't insert so much passion into what I do to be on one of my bosses' shit list because I didn't fill out a personality profile: Name, address, profession ( teacher--DUH), Department (English--DUH), social and file #--things and employer should already have--on a piece of paper I have filled out five times in two and a half years!!!! This is the NYC Department of Education! Yet, I can have six male students bombard my class and try to grab one of my students, who proceed to argue at my door despite my yelling and persuading...and no security. I call to no avail. I work. I love. I plan. I devote my soul to this profession, and all I am is a series of numbers and percentages. All I am is a ball of nerves that gets stepped on, cursed at, dirtied, and made to feel like my job could always be on the line. EVERYONE in this system has more power and empowerment than the teacher. Nobody appreciates my breed. They say they do, but educated people should know this creed: "Actions speak louder than words!"

I fear for the future of this nation. People are changing. Life is changing. Values are changing. I want to run, run, run...And I know what I put into my classroom experience, I know about the blood I pour out...and it is my fault for caring, for being sincere, for making this more than just a job. And I thought, I can't do this anymore. This job is taking my spirit away. I have lost so much of the artist's soul I once possessed and I want it back. I want my spirit back. I want to feel like I am truly living my life. I don't want to feel the lump in my throat as I fight back my need to cry...This world is too much for me sometimes...

"Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him." -Aldous Huxley

***Image by: Joseph Cornell (who I adore...check him out!)

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