I had some errands to run in "town" [I can use this term now that I'm back in my little midwest "nothing-town", and saying you have to go to "town" means you really have to get to a bigger city to accomplish anything!]. I had to find a movie that I plan on using in my classroom, return a couple things, make good on a coupon…you know. So now that I have been industrious I'm at Starbucks, stealing their wi-fi, drinking their expensive coffee [thank you, gift cards], and debating if I should read or work on a project for my kids. Ahhh…sigh. This is the life. [And I believe this is the ONLY part of me that is "city" in any way…well, and SHOES!] :)
But, here is the beauty. I am looking around at the three other people that are on their laptops. One man has his coffee and a tub of sour cream next to him…seriously. I'm really hoping it's not sour cream. A girl to his left has a business text book, and a Kansas City paper open and is taking notes and typing viciously. And the guy to my left…well this poor kid has roughly 8 text books, a clipboard, a laptop, a HUGE cup of coffee, a million highlighters, and a look of utter stress.
Why are these observations important? Because it reminds me that I have done the work already and I have a job I LOVE. Yes, I have the same look of stress many days that those around me have right now, but I don't have to read textbooks and highlights notes and sort through notecards for a research paper. I get to instead read my students writing, highlight their witty sayings or incorrect grammar, and read novels with them. And that, my friends, is joy.
Yes, there are days I want to bang my head against a cement wall because the stress level is so unbearably high and that kid just CANNOT get the difference between YOUR and YOU'RE and basketball practice is after school and then there is a jv game away and I have 50 five page papers from my juniors to grade and what is Brent going to eat for supper!?! But then…most days… I just think to myself, "I can't believe that people are actually PAYING ME TO DO THIS?!" As I sit around and discuss Atticus Finch or read a creative story that my 15 year old jock student wrote, or hear them read poetry with a smile on their faces.
Maybe it's a little easier for me to say this today. There are 18 days of school left and I've had a four day weekend. I know the cement-head-banging days will come, but today I am going to drink my white chocolate raspberry mocha and savor with each sip that I have a job that is more than a job.