The Dog Ate My Homework.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
I've never thought about it this way, but all those seemingly endless varieties of "the dog ate my homework" I hear as a teacher - ESPECIALLY as an English teacher - are the adolescent equivalent to my "I don't have time". It all means the same thing really. We're looking to arbitrarily place blame on some entity other than ourselves. Taking responsibility for our own poor/forgotten/passive decision requires accepting that we're flawed, unmotivated, etc...
I remember high school fairly well still and, unfortunately for my students, distinctly remember maintaining such a disciplined structure that I always had time for homework and its completion. I even had it down to what order I would work because some subjects took more focus than others. In fact, when I arrived at college I tried to simulate that same structure, but the lack of educationally reserved hours taught me the beauty of "I don't have time for _____" because I had clearly waited until zero hour for everything.
The reality of it all is that there are 24 hours in everyday of my adult life. HOW I choose to spend them is entirely my own decision, but the justifying missed workouts/grading/fun is not a result of being "out of time". I'm sure motherhood takes this notion and spins it upside down, but for now it's just me, my husband, and my cat, who coincidentally does not eat homework - real of metaphorical.
The stress and the feelings are being overwhelmed are partially self-induced (because some are the uncontrollable life curve balls) and almost always justified with feeling like I'm out of time for whatever it is I'm increasingly panicking over. My weekdays include 8 hours of work, 7.5 hours sleep, 1.2 hours of commuting, and at least 1 hour of exercising on a daily basis. That means I have 6 additional hours everyday to do all those "but I don't have time" things like prepping school work, grading, catching up on the DVR, organizing my summer job info, seeing friends, calling family, etc... So why am I always blaming the most neutral part of my day - the clock?
I will try to hold this perspective moving into Memorial Day weekend. The idea that I am not in a rush or falling behind, but rather that my perspective seems skewed when looking at my day. You see, every time I have days off or something irregular to my 9-5 days, I seem to come down with a cold or severe headache and I believe part of that is this unhealthy mentality about how much of my day I really have. So for now, I have 6 unclaimed hours every day to do what I need for me. And so I will.
Here's to a wonderfully positive week that (I hope) moves into a three day weekend for all!