I am grumpy today.
It started when I was getting for school in the morning, because actually I am really tired these days. And I woke up late, and I didn’t get any time to process. Mainly that. So I made pancakes for C and the Boy, which didn’t come out that well, because that is what happens. And I took the pancakes to the friend across the street and I made breakfast and lunch and I took a bath and the whole time I was rushing, because I knew there was not actually enough time for everything. I knew there were not enough minutes in the morning, and I just had to accept that. Rush as much as I could and accept that I would be late to meet the students I was doing reader’s theater with.
The problem this morning was that I don’t want to do the reader’s theater. This is VP Ma’am’s brain child. I agreed to do it, because we were going to perform it on Saturday after a week of practice, but we had a meeting on Saturday which was called rather last-minute and now we are doing it for a Variety Show, as they call it—two weeks away. And I do not want to come to school to work with students at 7:30 in the morning for 2 weeks. I have too much on my plate already.
I have been thinking that the issue with working with VP Ma’am is that she really likes the attention of an event going well. She likes the feeling of accomplishment. She likes the positive feedback, and so she kind of presses everyone she can into supporting this wish of hers for attention. So last Saturday, she kept Maths Ma’am after school until 4 p.m. making decorations for her because she saw another teacher’s Facebook posting of beautiful decorations for Reading Week. (Saturdays, we have a half day.) When I left school around 1, VP Ma’am was sitting at a table playing on her phone while students and Maths Ma’am worked diligently on decorations.
The problem for me is that none of this interests me. I don’t derive any satisfaction from a successful program, and probably I should not have agreed to do this club, because that is mainly what it is. It is my job, so I do it. The programs have to be done. They have to be done decently so that they look professional, and then I am able to move on with my life and do the things that are important to me. But I don’t derive any satisfaction from the programs themselves. None whatever. They don’t feel meaningful to me. I think they are important, because they provide some degree of entertainment for the students, and their lives at school tend to be fairly joyless and grim. But VP Ma’am gets a kind of high from them, from having eyes on her. And I don’t feel that.
What I am getting at is there is not a point of connection around it for the two of us. I think it would be quite different if there that point of connection around the attention of doing it well. I get much more satisfaction from seeing that the boy I told to wash his neck last week looks cleaner now. It is higher on my priority list to buy safety pins so that the boy I told to wear white sleeves (part of the school uniform—don’t ask) can actually wear them properly. This kind of attention, from putting on an event, feels like an impediment to me.
VP Ma’am gives me a sense of being a machine, in use to serve her need for attention.
So I was cooking grumpily this morning, thinking that I feel like a machine. I got to school late, met with the students and went on with the morning. I saw VP Ma’am and I knew she wanted something from me. Indeed she did. She had forgotten to buy the prizes for the spelling contest last week or forgotten to ask me to buy them or something. Anyway, she wanted to give them away after school and didn’t have them. She has two adult, unemployed children living at home right now. I asked if one of them could buy them for her. No, they were much too busy. Workers are pouring cement for something or other right now, and this is occupying all of their time. Quite possible—the daughter must feed the work crew all of their meals. It probably is difficult.
I said we’ll need to award them tomorrow, which didn’t seem to be a very satisfactory answer to her.
I am so angry, and I also really dislike her right now. I have been avoiding her lately, because I can see what state she is in, and usually in this state she hits me or makes some kind of mean comment and I am just not in the mood for it. And I am also tired of her little black cloud floating around, where she is either in a panic and I have to calm myself down from absorbing her panic (still working on regulating my own feelings, if you recall) or she is angry and saying life is horrible and terrible (why don’t you fix it then?)
So that’s where I am.