Thursday, September 29, 2011

Psycho Therapy

I still really like the "Psycho Killer".

"I don't date very often, and I am probably doing it weirdly," I told CPA Guy (Psycho Killer). It's true because I am used to being single. Honestly, I have a very full life single. I have always known I would have to meet someone who would make me want to change. I have this sneaking suspicion that I have met such a person.

I have been keeping it a very big secret, though, because I just can't be sure. It is just so new--in so many ways.

It scares me because I don't date a lot. I have always thought that one day I would fall in love and get married and all of that. Yet, meeting someone who makes me wonder, "Is he that guy?" freaks me out. I feel like I am at the beginning of a path that has potential to sweep through my life and make it never the same again.

It's like being on the edge of a diving board, and if I really jump off, water will rush over me and there will be no going back. It's like if everything did go sour, then it would be hard to go back to being happy in the state I am in. At this point I could still go back, but I feel that time passing me by.

So, let's sum this up. I feel that I might not be completely ready for the kind of change a relationship would bring. I feel afraid that things will end up badly and it will be hard. I know that these are not actually good reasons to end things.

Anyway, I have this big date tomorrow night. I am really excited. I know I need to focus on being in the moment and enjoying things. Freaking out about potential change or potential disaster is not helpful in the least. Okay, thanks blog therapist. What would I do without you?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Help

"Will you come in and help me? I really don't know what to say."

The words felt unnatural coming out of my mouth because I don't really ask for help at work or in life. However, I really wanted to be absolved of all responsibility to discuss the death of this parent with a room full of eight and nine year olds.

In retrospect, I can see how it is best coming from me, but I am afraid to say the wrong thing or say it the wrong way. I feel like I can't handle this issue and I wish someone would do it for me.

They need to see from me that everything is going to be okay, and that they are still in a safe world; they also need to see that I have compassion for the situation and the loss matters to me. They don't need to see that I shake a little bit when I think about going to that funeral on Saturday (the first one I've ever been to for a suicide). They don't need to see that I kind of wish this child was in someone else's classroom because I feel suddenly young and inexperienced to handle this.

All of this makes me think about what I believe about teaching and life and God. I'm only in my fifth year of teaching and this is the second time I have dealt with a really tragic situation impacting my classroom. Two years ago, I had a student who discovered suddenly that she had a life-threatening brain tumor the year she was in my class. We didn't know what would happen and we didn't know if she would be okay. I am happy to report that she is doing well today. The tumor is completely removed and she is in school full time again. She's in fifth grade now and she said to me the other day, "You know, when I was in third grade, it was a really bad year, but I am glad you were there and helped me get through it."

Now, I find myself trying to help this child who had a parent commit suicide and wants nothing more than to be in school as much as possible because that is where she is happiest. I realize that twice I've had kids in my class who are experiencing the worst year of their young lives (who are experiencing a worse year than I've ever experienced in my young life), and I can't believe they are there by coincidence. I think God puts them with me so they'll be closer to him. He loves them and I pray and try to do what He wants. I think he is trying to reach them through me. I find myself saying the same words to him that I was saying to the VP, words I don't say a lot. "Will You come in and help me? I really don't know what to say?"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Words Escape Me

Working with children can be fun because they always have a playful happy spirit. Sweet faces who love their teachers and school and families are definitely one of the biggest rewards of working in elementary school.

Yet, this life isn't always kind to children. Children can lose those whom they love most. Children can get sick. Children can die.

I am getting better about having a life outside of work, but it is these situations that keep me up at night and give me unsettling dreams.

A little girl in my class had a parent commit suicide this weekend. She came to school like nothing happened. We weren't notified. Later, I found out that she wanted to be at school.

I'm struck by such a little one so alone in the world. She comes to school asking me for a new homework sheet because she lost hers. She promises me that she'll have it done on time. I say, "Sometimes things happen and we can't get everything done and it's okay." I know that no one will sit with her. I know that she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. I see her walk her younger siblings to school every morning.

Sometimes I forget to pray for my students. Of course, they're more than a job; but I sometimes leave thoughts of them at school. When life is like this, I remember to pray for them, but I can't find the words.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

When I got home from my date, I closed the door to my house and leaned against it. On the other side of my door, things looked a little bit different. I crossed over to the other side of dating. I crossed over to the side where I am a little bit more vulnerable and I could get hurt. As you might know if you read this, I am kind of used to being unsure of what I want. I am kind of used to saying goodbye. I am not used to realizing that I do like someone--it's been a pretty good while. It feels good and bad.

This was my second date with Mr. CPA. Last weekend, on our first date, he took me out for teppenyaki. We had a good time, but I still felt very much like myself as we said good by. He tried to kiss me good night and I gave him my cheek. I thought I wanted to see him again, but I was still pretty neutral.

We kept talking during the week. Then he called me confusing, and I was a little rattled, but, you know, I shook it off. Today we went to this restaurant with wood burning stoves that cooks pizza, and then he actually agreed to accompany on a dry run of this children's museum I needed to do for a field trip I am planning. When he said good bye I gave him a hug. "Thanks," he said, "You know I want go in for you this time. I've learned my lesson about going slow with you."

So, I closed the door and leaned up against it. I found myself touching my lips like I just had an unexpected kiss. What I really had was an unexpected not-kiss. That's when it hit me: I like this guy, and there is nothing left for me to do about it except see where things go.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dance Card

I don't really know why I know this expression because I too young to know about dance cards, but I believe it would be appropriate to say my dance card is full. On Friday, I met the CPA guy that I really liked; I still do. We have another date this weekend--I think. Last night, we kind of got into a little disagreement. Apparently he thinks that I am confusing. That might not be the first time I've heard that. Anyway, he tried to say this as an aside, and I made him tell me exactly what he meant. He says I am hard to read. We both knew that we didn't want to have an argument about it now, when we just met; so we just kind of dropped it. I'm not really sure where that leaves things, though.

As for the doctor, I have a new nick name: Doogie Howser. Seriously, he gave this nickname to himself. He graduated highschool at fifteen and has six secondary degrees. He's already been a practicing software engineer and now he is a career switcher at the age of thirty and a licensed PA. He's also a landlord. He likes outdoor extreme activities. He's just got a crazy life. I feel like if I was nicknaming him 20 years from now he would be Richard Branson or Bill Gates or something. I'm actually a little intimidated by him and I don't get that very often. I am just plain curious about him, though.

Then there's this guy that I met when I went out with my friends on Sunday night. His dad is actually responsible for penning some very famous legislation around here and works in the state government. He wasn't intimidated by the book (Superfreakonomics) that I had in my bag at the bar, and he tracked with me. Apparently when he asked for my number I said "alright" in some kind of insulting way, according to my friends. Maybe I was being confusing??? Well, he still called, so it couldn't have been that bad.

Well, I am leaving in about 20 minutes, so I have to go. I have a classroom update coming later. I'll try to get to it tonight, but maybe I won't until tomorrow or so.

So, why the song? I guess I left my inner thoughts about an event covered in this post. The song, however, covers it.... Can you guess what I meant by it?? Hint: don't take it too literally, go with the chorus.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Training Wheels Come Off

When I was younger, we did this writing activity where you had to draw this road map of your life. You were supposed to put benchmarks that are the important points in your life. I suppose if most of us tried to do that we would put weddings and graduations and moves and births. In a way, all of that is artificial.

Real change, it seems, sneaks up on you. At least, it's snuck up on me. There's this kind of teacher I always wanted to be, but never could be. This year I am pretty close to that. There are these times that I'll catch my own reflection on some surface while I am teaching. The reflection teacher is someone I would have wanted to copy in years past, but I'm always surprised to find that it is me.

There's this kind of person I've always wanted to be, but never could be. I always wanted to have my own little house that felt like a home. I wanted to go out on the town and have adventures. I wanted to say what's on my mind and seize the day instead of being so introverted. For some reason, I can do that now.

Last night, I went on this date with the C.P.A. guy--the one I really like. Normally, I just couldn't be open to that. Yet, it was one of the best dates I've ever had. Soon, I am going to meet the doctor. Last year, I was so confused by trying to date more than one guy. This year, I am just having fun.