Monday, November 23, 2020

Next Phase

I am winding down my long-term global-pandemic substitute teaching position. In fact, I have finished my stint as the full-time teacher of the third graders. I will now write their report cards and then guide them in online school on Thursdays and Fridays in December.

I decided to stay on in a part-time capacity to help with the transition in the upcoming month. Their real teacher isn't coming back until January 4th, but I needed to be mostly finished at Thanksgiving. So now, a friendly and skilled gentleman who is also an administrative coordinator at our school and I will split the gig for the next four weeks.

I've learned a few things via this job and the lead-up to it:

  • I enjoy teaching and miss it when I'm not doing it for long periods of time.
  • The ideal amount of time for a long-term, full-time substituting gig for me is 8-10 weeks. I did my current job for 14 weeks full-time.
  • I cannot write as much or as well when I am also teaching. 
  • As writing is now my primary profession, it becomes a problem if I'm unable to perform this function. Balls, as they say, begin to drop.
  • I think a half-time, secondary teaching gig would be sustainable for a longer-term, like a full semester or perhaps even longer. Since I'm new to elementary, it takes more work and a lot more thinking and research to come up with good plans and methods.
  • The whole thing might be easier if we were also not in the midst of a global emergency.
And, there you have it. I will now dress in real clothes and head into the worksite to report on the third-graders' learning and mastery for the fall semester. I'm going to get a delicious almond-milk latte on my way in.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Covid Test

I have replaced every ounce of my election anxiety with Covid testing anxiety.

I have come to need a test because of some reason at my Global Pandemic Substitute Teacher position. No problem! School provided a  free test. It was supposed to be fast and efficient. I found out on Saturday night that I needed to take it.

On Sunday morning, I logged into Zoom and a nurse watched me spit into a test tube. Then I boxed up the whole thing and drove the package to the UPS store. They said they'd deliver it overnight.

But was it delivered overnight? Have I received confirmation from the testing place? No, I have not! 

And, in the meantime, there are people at school waiting for me to return. I am letting everyone down with my slow testing performance, which is mostly beyond my control!

Other people have secured faster tests. I even got a faster test for Mac that I paid for with 100 dollars of my own money. I'd do that for myself, but now there are no appointments until Thursday.

I'm panicky. 

I realize I should calm down, but instead I've been refreshing my email at the same rate at which I was refreshing the goddamned electoral map. 

I wish things were not this way, is what I'm saying.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The Election

Sure, I got up at my usual hour, but I'm having a hard time doing my novel work.

It's election day.

I've been waiting for this day for four long years and also dreading it. The dread is purely selfish. It's: how the heck am I going to persevere through this long and anxious time?

I must say, I'm inordinately grateful for my busy and distracting job. I'll barely poke my head up all during the school day. Then, I'll go for a nice steady run. Maybe this is the week to accomplish the medium-long run I've been skipping in my weekly training plan. And then?

I don't even know. 

Hope for Florida? 


Or Georgia?

Keep a bucket for the puke by the couch and the television?

Suggestions welcome.