Thursday, February 22, 2007

wild confusion

I know that you know that since Thanksgiving I have been thinking about going back to school (which was, to be fair, my original goal; I got sidetracked by Fears of Adulthood and Paying the Bills). And even more recently, that debate in my mind has hit a feverish pitch, mostly spurred on by the see-sawing of will-she-have-her-job-next-year-or-won't-she. (Every couple of weeks there is a certain amount of confidence we can have in either having our job or not. Recently, we can be confident at part time or possibly even full time, depending on who gets cut and how much. .8 will be taken away from our department--.6 in English and .2 in Gifted & Talented, which is one of our English teachers.)

I don't know what it is, but my mind and my body seem to have exceeded the capacity for reasonable tolerance and rationality.

I haven't changed positions, not much anyway, but I think a few things have become a little more smoothed out, especially after talking to K at length. I think the biggest fear I have in all of this is damaging that... if it were just me (and the cats), it wouldn't be a very hard choice at all. Leave and go back to school. But now I have things like matrimony and joint checking accounts to take into consideration. Geography, mortgage, vet bills. I keep saying to myself--what is the difference between the person I was when I just finished my undergraduate degree and the person I am now? When you strip it down, not much. Just those Adult Things.

I feel like a stripped down version of myself. I know a lot of that is taking on too much--and taking on things I feel I have to maintain in order to keep my job (I'm being held hostage) and teaching four hours' worth of people I frequently feel like I am baby-sitting and not teaching. So the energy level it takes to do some of these things drains a little bit of who I'd like to be when I come home. I'd like to write more and read literature that makes me really think; I'd like to go for long walks with the dogs and K and talk about planning our honeymoon and what event to attend over the weekend.

So, as I see it, I have several options, and I have decided that I'm not going to close any doors. I can't know what is the "right" choice; I can only see which ones work out. After all, going back to school may never be an option for me (which is frightening--not being smart enough--etc.) and there may not be that LTS opening at a nearby high school that I've heard rumors about. Things may begin to turn at the current school--I may not have to teach four hours' worth of high energy kids (who think nothing of groaning when I assign an essay) or drama for every season. Things may get better if I just hang in.

There's no way to know any of this. I think it's just important for me to continue persuing each option... I've begun the process of opening a file for letters of recommendation to return to graduate school. I already have my grad (M.Ed) advisor writing one for me, and I have three others as options to ask. I will schedule the GRE (and hope I don't fail the math portion miserably). I am taking a distance learning course on British Literature, and I hope an essay from this class can be fine tuned as a writing sample. I am going to begin to put together an application packet for another school. I am going to continue working hard at my current job and plan as if I will be back next year. (I love my fifth class, there's no denying that.)

And my body and my mind will be eased because I will have options, and that's extraordinarily lucky. How many people truly have choices in life? And I'm not working to live. I'm not the Joads. And my house is a library. And I'm marrying a man that I love and am blessed to have in my life. All good things.

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