Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ugh. What a day.

I don't like complaining about work too much on public parts of the internet, so I won't go into too much detail, but yesterday was one of the longest days ever, and there were issues with students and staff all day.

First of all, it's the day before spring break, and the first week of standardized testing. Therefore, kids are basically unhinged because it's been a really unusual week schedule-wise, and they are ALL ready for a vacation. We all are (teachers too) because we haven't had a break since February.

Second of all, it's junior prom day, and for whatever reason, we can't make it through any major event of the year without some huge mix-up happening, or making people incredibly angry with us, or other people making us angry at them. And I'm a lot more emotional than Lisa or Michael, so I get upset REALLY easily, and when I get really upset, I have trouble shaking it off.

So, it was a day of frustrations and angry emails and students misbehaving, and I had a massive case of nausea and fatigue through it all (no I'm not pregnant) because the night BEFORE, I went to sleep late because Jolie was screaming and crying at full power for three hours straight. She wouldn't let me put her down the whole afternoon and evening (this is the usual age for separation anxiety), and when I finally got her down for a nap, she woke up screaming after half an hour. I think she is entering the age of night terrors, so she was inconsolable for three hours. She didn't want me to hold her, but she didn't want me to put her down, and finally, I just had to put her in her crib and shut the door and walk away, and eventually she wore herself out and slept the whole night.

So yeah... I was already tired going to work on Friday, and the entire day was just stress and frustration and ill-feeling. (You know it's a bad day when you have to write two referrals before you can go home.) I was totally falling asleep at my hair appointment. (I need to stop going there right after work, because I did the same thing getting my haircut a week or two ago.)

The fun part was putting on my makeup and getting dressed, though I was pressed for time because I had to make sure to eat dinner before I left, since they were only going to serve desserts at prom.

I made it on time, and was the first adult there. Note to all working adults everywhere: if you are assigned a responsibility that requires you to show up at a certain time, BE THERE ON TIME. Or, at most, be just a few minutes late. Don't be half an hour late. Don't NOT show up at all (as one teacher did). We were supposed to arrive by 7, tour the facility and get our front tables set up, and then start letting kids in at 7:30. There were adults who didn't arrive until 7:20 or 7:25, and we had to let kids in late. (And there were large groups of kids arriving early.)

Seriously, teachers, how can you expect kids to care about showing up to your class on time if you can't show up to your duty on time? Why is it okay for you to stroll in late but you get to give your student a hard time for stopping to pee between classes? Set the example please. It's your job.

Prom was eventually under way - the kids all looked spiffy in their fancy clothes. It never fails to amuse me how much the girls try SO hard to look all glamorous and grown-up, like a celebrity walking the red carpet at the Oscars. Girls, some of you can't even drive yet. You have no business dressing like a 35-year-old! And it's funny because what keeps them from actually passing themselves off as "older" is their mannerisms and behavior. There are certain life lessons you learn as an adult that show themselves in your eyes and your face and the way you carry yourself, and obviously teenagers lack that. So, until they grow up, they will always be little girls playing dress up.

There was finally the inevitable moment of having to approach the dance floor area. Most teachers hate chaperoning dances because of this - we don't want to see kids doing dirty grinding on the dance floor. We're supposed to go in and bust them (we have a no-freaking policy), but seriously? Who wants to even go NEAR people when they're doing dirty shizz like that? I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole.

And I'm NOT what you would call a prude. I am definitely not easily embarrassed, and I am of the belief that sex should not be treated as this dirty, shameful thing that society needs to hide and treat as a taboo. (In fact, I believe that if sex were treated as something normal and healthy and natural, there wouldn't be so many societal issues involving sexuality and certain gender issues.) I believe that teens should be taught about safe sex and protection, rather than just abstinence.

So what REALLY bothers me, then, is that a SCHOOL event is not the place to be getting your freak on. Sexual activity is normal and healthy and natural, but it does NOT belong in a crowd of two hundred people in a public place where there are also teachers and principals present and your parents are coming at the end of the evening to pick you up.

It also reeks of a lack of self-respect and respect for others around you. Not to sound antiquated, but have some goddamn decorum. Going to an occasion where you put on a tux or a fancy dress and there are table linens and fondue fountains is not the same as going to a sweaty nightclub in New York. I'm all for non-conformity and not caring what others think, but there are some instances where you SHOULD care about the impression you're making. I'm not a big fan of the word "slutty," because I feel it's very anti-feminist, but seriously, it's slutty, and I'm using that word to apply to both guys and girls. I highly doubt that these kids are mature enough to understand the concept of embracing their sexual agency and challenging the social taboo associated with sex, because that's a very adult concept (ie, Samantha from Sex and the City). I think that they are hormonal and self-entitled, meaning, they will do whatever the hell they want, and they don't care how it affects other people around them (ie, those of us who have to be there and really don't want to see that s***), because the only thing they care about is what they want and what they feel, and damn everyone else.

Anyway, off my soapbox now.

The evening was long, and I wanted to go nap in my car SO bad, but I definitely didn't want to get in trouble if something happened and I wasn't there. And I didn't want to leave other people in the lurch. I was pretty annoyed, at a number of things, and by the end, I was just sitting there, alone, glaring at nothing in the immediate distance, as a bunch of us teachers were waiting for kids to be picked up. I must've looked pretty miserable because our admin let us go. I hate being the downer all the time, but... I really just don't enjoy this part of my job, and I'm not good at pretending otherwise. At least I tried to be miserable sitting off by myself instead of sitting WITH the other teachers and being miserable.

I got home around one in the morning, and after winding down and removing ALL my make up and combing out my teased-up hair, it was another hour before my head finally hit the pillow, a full 21 hours since I woke up that morning. At long last.

(And then I had to get up early to tend to the baby.)

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