Sunday, February 13, 2011

Last week was weird. Sooo weird. I didn't observe on Monday because the vocal/general teacher was sick. Then on Tuesday, my mentor teacher called me in the morning telling me her sons were sick, and I needed to sub that day. That was a really tough day. The beginners were really distracted in their sectionals, and that was tough to deal with. My mentor teacher came back in time for jazz combo at the end, so that was nice. It was an exhausting day.

On Wednesday, my mentor teacher came in a bit later than me. Wednesday is a pretty slow day, only concert/intermediate bands and the low brass sectional. She and her husband had worked out a deal for watching the kids 50/50. Naturally she had to leave as I was teaching the sectional, and nothing got done there. (Only 4 kids. How is every single one so unfocused?)

I also, sorry to say this on the internet, started my period on Wednesday. Because of the stress involved in subbing and the intensity of this credential program, I was an emotional wreck when I got home. I was in an excruciating amount of pain, and instead of prepping for Thursday's world music class, cried on the floor of my living room for 2 hours. (I laid a blanket out first. I now call it my crying blanket.) I sipped tea with the hope that something warm in my belly would make the pain go away, but that just made me nauseous. I went to bed at 8:30 thinking even if I woke up super early to prep for my class, I at least wouldn't be crazy tired because I'd have gotten over 8 hours of sleep.

Somewhere around 1:30am I woke up to the booming soundtrack of a psychological thriller movie from the 70's. My upstairs neighbors put it on and I could hear it through my ceiling. It was very loud. My other neighbor, the one next door to the people directly above me, apparently thought so too because it turned off about 10 minutes later. At this point I would like to mention that I am a very light sleeper, and also probably have insomnia. And I was so angry that they woke me up, I couldn't go back to sleep for at least 2 1/2 more hours. Seriously. Who the fuck does that?

So I woke up on Thursday having had less than 7 hours of sleep, which might not sound like a big deal, but I had been banking on getting those hours so I could at least feel somewhat like a functioning human being that day. I told my mentor teacher about my terrible night and how physically and emotionally raw I felt. She commented on how frustrating it is that we (women) really have absolutely no control over emotions sometimes. And that times really seemed hard for me right now.

She also told me to wash my hands frequently that day, because she'd got it. We had the beginning band jeopardy game, which was fun, intermediate band, which was exhausting, and world music. My class was really fun, and a little chaotic. It was finally time for my aesthetic experience scavenger hunt!

Then I had class for two hours, then a beer for dinner with other credential candidates I hadn't seen in over a week, and then brass band for two hours. A 13-hour day I really wished I'd had a full night of sleep for. Then I got the e-mail from my mentor teacher--the one saying she was way too sick to work tomorrow, and even though it's a full day, can I handle it all on my own? I said yes, but we'd have to re-schedule world music again because it was just too much to do all at once.

At 11pm, I finally got home and started on the mountain of dishes in my kitchen before working on the practice journals. Suddenly I realized I'd completely forgotten about my VELR (video taped lesson for me and my supervisor to talk about), and I was already a week past the time I was supposed to have it done. I hadn't even tried to acquire a video camera at all. I had to drop what I was doing and lie on my crying blanket for awhile. It never really stopped after that. I went to bed at 1am.

On Friday when I subbed again, it was really for the most part. (The middle school band kids are very focused and sweet, and worked independently really well.) At 4 I dropped off a big folder of stuff that my mentor teacher had dropped off to me in the morning, back to her at her house. We talked about the day and what I got done and how the kids were. Then she said, "Stephanie, I'm concerned about you."

I said, "Really? How come?" She said that I'm doing an excellent job student teaching, but she was worried about me as a person. That when I tell her about how long and intense my emotional episodes are it's really a cause for concern. And then we talked for a really, really long time, and I cried a lot. She said I sounded very depressed, and asked me if I'd ever thought about getting counseling. I said I really wanted to last year--that I knew I really needed help, but I couldn't muster up the time or energy to go to the clinic. "Well, what if I went with you?" she said. "We could go together, and figure out what a good fit might be for you." So we made up a time to meet on Monday, when she doesn't work. I told her how moved I was that she would do this for me. She said I'm worth it. And that going into counseling was one of the best decisions she'd ever made for herself.

And now, on the other side of the weekend, I've been feeling really strange. Like I've been exposed and my energy is leaking out, and my body's trying to make up for it. I've been consistently dizzy since the week began. My brain is at a loss for thoughts and I just sporadically cry in 10-minute episodes. My brain tricked me last weekend. I thought everything was right and good with the world, and then emotions took over.

I'm nervous for tomorrow. Partly because I've never been to counseling and I'll probably cry for most of it. And partly because Task 2 for PACT is due and I've barely even started it. I'm finding it hard to get through because my mind is so tired. I may just try and do it all tonight and submit it in the morning.


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