Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Long time, muddled head

This school year has been interesting, to say the least.

A brief update: I've still got great classes, but I've had some issues with students and with parents and sometimes with both, but nothing that hasn't gotten straightened out and nothing that hasn't ended on a positive note. I really like all of my students this year, and I'm getting a kick out of creative writing. We're currently doing the research essay in 9th grade, which means my winter break will be spent working on some painful grading (not unlike my Thanksgiving break where I'll work on stories and tests).

School: Our football team is in the state finals, our fall play made a good deal of money and was a hit, our levies didn't pass (and many jobs will be lost, possibly including my own).

Me: For a while I thought I was just nostalgic for when I was an undergrad, but I think what I've really been moping around about is the fact that I want to finish up my education... when I was in high school myself, I said I would be a writer, even if that meant waitressing my way through. Last time I checked, I've never waitressed, and I'm not in one of the most time and emotionally draining professions there is--too often I've come home, feeling like my brain had melted into a lump and would only reenergize after some decent sleep, then start all over again. In some ways, I feel like I've failed myself, but I know that I can't simply give up on this profession (besides, I really like what I'm doing) so I can go back to school. K made this clear--it's great to find a way to be happy, but I need to pay my part of the mortgage too.

I don't plan on leaving my job any time soon. In fact, I still think I would be happy to retire from high school teaching.

I think what I really want to do is find a way to complete that other part of me. Professionally, I feel good. But intellectually and creatively, I feel stifled.

So I've done a few things... I unpacked some of my old desk stuff, finding old writing notebooks and things from when I was taking classes at the MFA level. That night I went downstairs and told K that I would really like a laptop of my own... we have a ton of computers in this house, but none of them are really mine (there is one upstairs that K would beg to differ, but it is really his--a Frankenstein's creation of leftover and new parts but I can't really take it with me and I associate it with other tasks). My last laptop was sent off to Iraq and the Mac belongs to the school... I just wanted the cheapest laptop he could find (that was decent) that could run a word processing program, could print, could go on the internet and be wireless. I wanted something that I wouldn't associate with my job, wouldn't play stupid games on (see, it's good that it wouldn't be able to handle games) for procrastination, wouldn't be used for anything other than advancing myself scholastically and in the writing world. I wanted to start working on that novel that has been brewing on my head--stop talking about it, stop thinking about it, and start doing it.

So here it is. Except when I bought it, two days ago, it was cheaper (by a lot), so I'm glad I was feeling impulse-like. I'm proud that it is cheap and I'm really excited that I won't spend as much as I did on my first laptop (a lovely Sony Vaio that gave me four wonderful undergraduate years, gave K some entertainment before he got his own laptop, and I hope was of some use in Iraq for my friend) because I want it to be a tool that gets me writing again... that gets me back into the groove.

I've been so far out of this mental mindset of writing that I've almost forgotten how it feels. I looked back on my old writing notebooks and I could recall the feeling... what it was like to be on and to be experiencing the writing life.

I just have to start sorting through my priorities and figure out how to balance my work life with my life with K with my life of pleasure (reading and writing).

I also requested some GRE study guides from the library, picked up some color coded notecards (verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing) and I'm going to get myself ready to do really well on this exam. One did not need to take the GRE to get into grad school for the M.Ed (that I have a plan to finish this summer--I suppose that's something I haven't mentioned here yet--but I'm teaching a summer course to gifted and talented kids on theatre and my advisor said the curriculum I create for that as well as a brief study of the learning experience would do for the grad project, so I will be done with it this summer; I also was accepted into the program to acquire my gifted and talented certificate, so I will work on that in 2007 and hope to finish it by next winter... I'm already enrolled in two courses for the spring semester). So I haven't taken the GRE just yet, but I need to take it to get into most MFA programs (where I would either focus on poetry or, more likely, fiction) and MA/Ph.D programs (I haven't decided if I want to get my MA first and then Ph.D or just skip the MA, but I do know that it would be in literature).

OK, so I promised my father I would leave by ten, which gives me half an hour to finish packing up and shower. It's off to my grandparents' house for Thanksgiving... it's nice and peaceful and I might have a chance at getting grading done, which doesn't seem to happen in my house or my parents'.


No comments: