Saturday, May 15, 2010

Feeling A Little Boxed In At The Moment

It's so near the End Of The School Year that I'm feeling stressed out and relieved at the same time. In addition to Teen Wrangling and attempting to cram a little more academics into unwilling minds, we have to pack every single bit of the content of our rooms--including all of our textbooks--because about two days after we leave on 27 May, the demolition crews arrive and knock our building down. The Collateral Damage is that I'm fragmented and distracted at home. I find that I want to just sit down--alone--in silence; I don't want to make decisions, talk, or even listen. I get massive headaches at night that are still there when I wake up as my body tries to deal with the tension.

As I look at the piles of boxes in my classroom, I wonder aloud how hoarders live the way they do, habitually surrounded by clutter. I can barely stand the orderly wall of boxes that mark a pathway to my door, or the stack of boxes-yet-to-be-made leaning neatly against the wall. Every spare minute I can, I devote to packing. It makes for a hectic day. Luckily, I have wonderful students who offer to help--and they are a big help. But I still have to direct, inventory, label, and double-check. In the back of my mind looms the reverse--the unpacking when school starts.

You know, it's almost enough to make me start wearing flats to work. Almost. If I had any.

This stress, this fatigue, this...whatever (look! the writing teacher can't even come up with A Good Word!) is making my perspective skewed. I have a dim view of everything, and I busy myself with making up Horrid Lists, like "People Who Need To Be Publicly Slapped" (1. Palin 2. Limbaugh 3. Mike Brown 4. Glenn Beck 5. Octowomb{she's no mom}, oh I could go on and on); "Things I Must Accept Will Never Happen" (1. Crocs will be outlawed 2. the tea party will be declared a domestic terrorist organization 3. saying "irregardless" will be punishable by death 4. sweatpant wearing in public will be a misdemeanor 5. the republicans will finally be called out on their shit). Those are the very mild ones. Believe me, there are some that are far more dire.

So, while I'm in this Dark Place, I'd better take a little break. I'll be back when things clear up a bit...when I've "packed up my troubles," so to speak. I hope it's not too long; I'm sick of boxes.


  1. Oh, I feel sorry for you and yet envious at the same time. Our building is 44 years old and we're not scheduled for renovation until 2017. Knocking down this nasty old building would be a better alternative, in my humble opinion!

  2. My teacher friend is counting the seconds until the end of the year. Whew. My daughter's year doesn't end until June 11th, and her friend's year doesn't end until the 14th. Which is a Monday. LAME, right?

    Sorry you're worn out. Been there. Good luck and take your time and feel better.

  3. Keep trudging towards the light that will dawn (even if it appears about 3:00 pm) on May 27, Nance. First, it will be weak, but as time goes on it will get brighter and brighter, lifting you up to that wondrous thing known as summer vaction. Keep thinking about that, Nance. Lazy mornings, trips, wine events, theatre, and all things good. See you on "the other side."


  4. How about frazled - or is it frazzled? Nasty job! I am sending a virtual copy of a wonderful poster I have....a cat hanging by its claws from the topof a door with the caption 'Hang in there!'

  5. Mary G.--Oh, yeah--frazzled. I'm hanging in there; no choice but to do that, is there? I also live by yet another slogan: Never let "them" see you sweat.

    Shirley--Thanks. I know all of that, of course. It's the trudging that I'm mightily sick of. We started the year with two shootings, continued with constant construction and all of its inconvenience, and I'm just tired of it all.

    J.@jj--Thanks. We started two weeks earlier (Aug. 14), so we still put in our regular year. I had no idea you used to teach! When did you give it up?

    Melissa B.--44 years old! It is to laugh! My building is 116 years old! The second building of Our Esteemed High School is 97 years old, and there have been additions constructed in the 20s and 50s. This is what happens when you live in a state which funds its schools via property tax levies voted on by local elections. We are constantly begging voters for money, and they are not always able or willing to fork it over.

  6. Oh, no, I've never taught. I can't even figure out how to explain things I totally understand to my very bright daughter, so I am in no way qualified. I just meant, I get worn out sometimes, too. Mostly not by my work, which is fairly low stress. More by life, which has been fairly complicated and harsh over the last few years.

  7. When I placed your Horrid List of "Things [You] Must Accept Will Never Happen" beside my own list of "Things That Surely Must Happen in My Lifetime," I was shocked and disturbed to realize eighty percent of the items on your list also appear on mine!

    Now I'm worried about the other items I have listed. I'm almost afraid to ask, but — do you also think it will never happen that crossword puzzle dictionaries will be outlawed or that expectant fathers who say "We're pregnant!" will be punished with impregnation? That no one will ever really care about whether to use that or which? That Scrabble scores will never be a factor in college admission decisions? That there will never be parades honoring those who can correctly punctuate dialogue?

    Please tell me you shared this Horrid List of yours in a moment of dark ironic jest, and don't really mean to say someone like me should stop believing in a brighter future where word nerds take over the world, put all the apostrophes where they belong, and get to be in charge of all that public slapping and stuff.

    Most anxiously yours,


  8. Your exhaustion is palpable. It reminds me of my Year from Hell, living out of cardboard boxes and dealing with construction and a bunch of other crap that hit the fan in 2008.

    It's horrible when there's no place to rest your body or your mind. I know what you mean about the packing--it's not just putting things in boxes, it's thinking it all through and making decisions about what should be saved, what can be tossed, what should be packed with what, how to avoid losing things that are important and on and on and on.

    Especially sorry about your headaches. I know they're an archnemesis of yours.

    Take care, and hey, if you make it to southern Maryland this summer, let Shirley and I know. We'll cross the bridge and have lunch with you. : )

  9. V-Grrrl--Thank you for commiserating. I said years ago that I'd never use the Dept. for a dumping ground or a sympathy ploy, and I've held true to that mission pretty well, I think. And I know that whatever longtime readers remain don't come by here for sob stories; neither do they expect lots and lots of Sharing. ;-) Having said all of THAT, I really wanted to explain any hiatus that might occur as I work through some of this. It hasn't helped much either that NEO has been locked in an extended blast of low pressure, rain, and clouds. Ugh. I'm encased in fleece right now, and my furnace is set to 73. (And thanks for the lunch offer.)

    Hi, Siren! I'm trying to remember if it was here or over at my other blog "Stuff" that I've seen you comment before. At any rate, thanks for jumping in. Sorry, but I am hopeful that Scrabble scores remain a non-factor in college admissions, and let me tell you why: my own Scrabble prowess is often not reflected in The Score, per se, due to the fact that I am not mathy. I can create wonderful words that use up all my tiles or are beautiful words unknown to the other player or ones known to elicit oohs and aahs of admiration from casual kibitzers. YET--these words may not ring up the vast points of the craftily played "Zip" in the right place. I find that horrifically unfair and sadly pathetic. Why should some dullard get the win with "ZIP" and I lose when I produce a word like "languor"?
    I will say, however, that should the time come when the Dept. of Nance is a real department with official standing, I will place your applications for Public Slapper and Apostrophe Remedier at the top of the pile.

    j.@jj--Oh! I see! I was all set to embrace you as a colleague in arms, but no matter. We can certainly still sigh and collapse on the couch together as fellow travelers of some patches of damned rough road lately, as you so rightly pointed out. Why can't things always be Pleasant And Carefree?

  10. Hi again,

    I just wanted to let you know I don't think I've commented on any of your blogs before. This is only the fifth or sixth time I've ever commented on anyone's blog at all, so I think -- I hope -- I'd remember. I know I've thought about it once or twice, because your writing is very funny and engaging, but I'm kind of unsure of myself with the comment thing, so I always chicken out.

    But yikes, now I'm all paranoid I left a comment that was so dumb I had to completely repress it out of sheer embarrassment or something.

    OMG, this comment is so dumb I might end up totally repressing it, too! Ack!

    Good-bye -- I'm off to make a fool of myself elsewhere.

    P.S. I suppose you have a point with the Scrabble thing. I agree the dazzle factor should totally count when tallying final scores. I think it should work like this: every time someone is about to beat you fair and square by having artfully placed the "Z" in "zip" on a triple-letter square alongside an already existing "A," the dazzle factor of a word like "languor" should count just enough that you win the game by exactly one point.

  11. Siren--Thank you for the compliment, and it really doesn't matter if you've commented here before or not. It's highly likely that I'm mistaken. I do try to remember and acknowledge my infrequent commenters; I also try to make certain to greet new commenters and make them feel welcome here. Don't worry. We're very pleasant here at the Dept. COME BACK, COME BACK!!! LOL. Also...I really hate the fact that my Deluxe Scrabble game came with a Bigass List Of Acceptable Scrabble Words. We rarely challenge at my house, but it irks me to no end when I can find the word "geek" in that horrid list.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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