Posts Tagged ‘than’
My life is playing out exactly the opposite as I had figured it three years ago. I’d have a comfortable living, working just enough to get by. I’d spend most of the rest of my time with my laptop. I’d spend whatever was left as another bored 20-something.
Yet by Friday, I’ll have clocked almost 60 hours — a third of that time-and-a-half, some of it even double time — over five days at an unsalaried job, and I spend nearly a fifth of that time driving. For fun, I spend on average 15 hours each week playing my trombone or hanging out with other band people — especially the really old ones.
I spared a minute or two to stop by a bridal shop to buy myself a tuxedo between work and rehearsal. In the same trip, it took another minute or two to replace my belt — never buy reversible belts with a built-in hinge, because expensive does not equal reliable — and I only had the time for both errands because the stores were right on the way to band practice.
Perhaps the best illustration: Because I’m the responsible sort, or like to think so, I don’t answer my cell phone while on the road, at rehearsals, working, sleeping and showering. Save for the 12 minutes I spend waking up every morning and perhaps the better part of my weekends, it’s impossible to get ahold of me.
I’m really busy.
Because I’m not salaried, I have no work responsibilities shoved on me for over my weekends. On two days of the week, I can spend as much time as I want reading long-winded histories and long-winded fiction, checked out from my local library.
I never achieved this sort of freedom in college. Owing to professors’ busywork, my frenetic schedules and a sadly delinquent campus library, I was doing almost as much as I am now, but it never seemed to matter as much. Papers were just another hurdle, over which I’d leap; going to class was just another sand trap, around which I’d aim.
Now, working matters. Now, I don’t have to worry about artificial deadlines, arbitrary assignments, fundamentally useless paper pushing. I’m doing it for real, now, and all doors are open — that’s liberation, and it changed my whole paradigm. I hated work, but now that I’m busier than I’ve ever been, I love it.
Funny how that works out.
It’s my water bottle. Quiet.
No it isn’t.
Be quiet and do your test or leave.
He left, very noisily bouncing his basketball on his way out. The RSP coach left her assigned student, writing Mr. Balla up for referral to a vice principal.
Because he never shows up, I didn’t even know what name to tell her to put on the referral. Naturally.
This class is usually trouble, as the RSP coach is well aware. She’s been here before. Patronizingly, she leans and whispers hoarsely into my ear.
I know they’re bad and how you’re just a student teacher, so maybe I might have an idea that will help you. All the ringleaders are next to the window, so maybe a seating chart? I don’t know if you’ve thought of it.
Yes, I have. Given a warning, they behave themselves just enough so I don’t have pretext to mess with the seating chart. I would have told her that, but she went on to repeat herself for a good minute or two, in the same patronizing whisper. She tells me nothing I don’t already know, nothing I haven’t already thought of.
I’ve already asked myself: Is there something I’m doing wrong, something so seemingly small or insignificant that I don’t even remember it, or to mention it here in the blog? I don’t suppose the reader would know the answer to that question.
This is the same class where even one would-be gangster who shows up regularly will very casually bump into me while walking by, where two girls who love talking back will waddle in five minutes past the lunch bell, noisily slurping their Icee.
I can’t very well lay down the law — my master teacher never minded these habits at all, and the students know he’s really the teacher of record. I’ll be the mean teacher and lose the efficacy I already have.
They can sense that he knows what he’s doing and I don’t. Every week, someone in fifth period tells me:
You’re not a real teacher.
With less than a month of instruction left, it’s too late to fix this class. I just can’t shake the feeling that it would have been so much easier if I had started off the year with them, rather than coming in halfway.
Half of my fifth period class is consistently studious. The other half might as well be the half-of-class from hell.
I usually chalk this modern world history class’ horrible-osity to that it is full of sophomores, fresh from lunch, or the at least one charismatically obnoxious RSP kid who steals attention from the lesson whenever possible.
Today, the class was worse than it had ever been.
There are 36 desks in this fifth period classroom and 39 kids. If you believe everything you read, that’s an overcrowding worthy of New York City.
Strangely enough, I don’t usually have a problem with this. Though the room is a swamp cooler away from being a sweatbox half the time, chances are that no more than 29 students show up on any given day. The 10 students missing tend to be the sort of students who don’t mind missing or disrupting class at the slightest provacation.
This was the day we did our benchmark tests. This was also the day that 37 students decided to show up, including the all but one of the aggrivatingest hellions who never show up.
I asked them to shush. They didn’t. Overcome with student snottiness, my voice grew in volume until I practically barked at them to be quiet in the manner of my master teacher, but without the months of street cred.
Rookie mistake, but it seemed to have worked this time. Temporarily, they got mostly quiet. Temporarily, they mostly followed instructions for the benchmark tests.
I took a swig from my water bottle, and an otherwise perpetually absent hellion responded.
What the fuck?
The class erupted, again. Hell.