Brain Drain . . .

They talk a lot about summer brain drain. You know, the fact that from June to August the knowledge of nouns, verbs and complete sentences seem to dribble out of some students' brains? It's actually a fact that there is learning loss over long vacations. However, I feel the back to school brain drain.

By the time the third week of June hits, I've recovered from the school year. It's amazing what regular sleep and being able to go to the bathroom when you want to can do for you! Yes, that's a huge problem for a teacher. We're like bathroom Pavlov dogs mixed with a little Mission Impossible--the bell rings and we book it to the bathroom while the theme plays in our head. Can we make it back in time before the kids run amuck and duct tape someone or something to the ceiling? In the summer I can sleep later than six am, take my time washing my hands and actually run a brush through my hair with my eyes open. Ever have those days when you look in the mirror in the evening and wonder if you actually looked like that all day? In my case, I always wonder why the kids didn't tell me. They usually have no problem pointing our such things.

When the school year starts it takes a couple of weeks to get back into the swing of things. Not only is it being on my feet again all day long. I think I actually walk a few miles a day just around my room. It's also the mental drain. Teaching is demanding. If you've never done it, let me try and describe it. It's part professor (you actually have to know your stuff), part stand up comic, part cop and part referee all rolled up into one. And you'd better wear comfy shoes. The second you do manage to sit down, a rare luxury, someone needs to show you something RIGHT NOW!!

I love it. I really do. Just yesterday I had three kids roll their eyes at my humor. I laughed and told them, "These are the jokes, people. You might as well laugh. I don't get any funnier as the year goes on."They challenge me. They make me laugh. They keep me young and they make me feel so very old at the same time. It's exhausting and mind-numbing at times. It's so hard to write at the beginning of the year because all of my creative juices are being used up in the classroom and when I get home I have only enough energy to help the little one with her homework, water the plants, make dinner, hop on the elliptical for thirty minutes and then hold down the couch. I take that job over from the dogs in the evening. You know, that couch needs to be watched. You never know where it'll go if you don't watch it. So, now, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I think I'll go help my husband pull up the old kitchen floor. I'll get to that chapter after dinner. I need to work on writing while holding down the couch. I think those two activities can be put together. What do you think?


  1. Wine. You forgot the wine while writing and holding down the couch.


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