Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's (almost) all over now.

People have been asking me lately, "So, are you ready to go back to work?"

My first instinct is to cringe a little bit and say, "C'mon, it's still August, don't bring me down!" But, you know, I do get paid to do a job, so I might as well go on back in and do it. Besides, while some of the kids (and a few of my colleagues) drive me a little bit crazy now and again, I actually do genuinely enjoy my job. It's a very social job in some ways (I spend all day interacting with people), but a very lonely one in others (I'm the only one in the room who was alive before the Berlin Wall fell)... but, as I've said before and I'll say again, dull moments are a rarity.

I popped into the ol' schoolhouse yesterday to pick up a few things and see who was around. It turns out that one of our vice principals got a principal gig somewhere, which is strange because he was only a VP for maybe two or three years. This may not seem like a big deal, but let me tell you, after having been in situations where the principal/VPs weren't terribly supportive/proactive/useful, administrators can make a huge difference in how a school feels and behaves. They have the ability to set the tone, for better or worse.

This year is going to be insanely busy. I'm teaching a course I've never taught before, for which there's no textbook — I'm taking this afternoon to try to begin to wrap my head around it — and two more that I haven't taught in a couple of years. Add my co-department-head duties on top of that, and union-representative stuff, and I might be able to come up for air sometime in November.

But hey, I've never been one to shy away from a challenge. Grad studies in education? Bring it on. Position of responsibility in a medium-to-large-sized high school in the largest city in the country? Sure, no problem. Eating a 96-ounce ribeye steak called "The Ol' 96er," bones and all, so my family's dinner was free? Give me a fork.*

It's been an eventful summer, in a lot of ways. And while I'm certainly not looking forward to 6:30 mornings and mountains of marking, this ol' roller-coaster is about to leave the station, and I'm all buckled-in for another trip. Let's go.

* This may or may not have only been in the Dan Aykroyd/John Candy film, "The Great Outdoors."

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