I need a new super word to fully encapsulate just how tired I feel right now. Exhausted just won’t cut it. The fatigue is so immense, I feel it in my retina. My eyelids want to crash land, shut down and seal forever but I know I can’t rest just yet because of the last leg of the report card season race. If I lie down to sleep right now, I may never wake. Instead, I reluctantly look up at the nearest marathon distance marker, which says ‘congratulations! You just passed the 21k mark.’ Of course, this only means there’s 21k more to go. Boo pero kaya ko ‘to.
this new super word also has to include this terrible sensation I have (magnified by the exhaustion and sleep deprivation) at the pit of my stomach. It’s not an unknown feeling. I’ve met it before, mostly during times when I feel regret. Or in this case, when a sudden realization plunks in my consciousness about just how unaware I had been of someone’s feelings. I really hate that. The ‘doh’, palm to your forehead slapping moment when it hits you that you did not think that one through enough even if you thought you did.
I know I’ve been pushing them hard. Challenging them to write and write and yes, write well. Write like they’ve never written before. Sometimes though, in my quest to push them to write fiercely and in the best way they can, I somehow check my compassion at the door. Like a fur coat I’ll come back for later, my comments, albeit encouraging and supportive in my teacher eyes, can leave my kids cold at times. I know what kind of teacher I want to be, a damn good one. But I also know what kind of person I need to be. A compassionate and kind one. They were able to write about some of the most difficult things they have had to go through in their young lives and my external critic and teacher blinders left me looking just at appropriate transitions, syntax and perfect endings, language use and “demonstrating their sophisticated understanding of whatever.” It’s my job, I know. But sometimes, especially when they write from their hearts, it’s more important that I let go of my Muji pen and just read from mine.
I hope they know that despite all the pushing and my so called solar powered, never resting “jackhammer of justice” (term coined by P.M.), that I am their number one fan. That I believe in them completely. That when the time comes, I will buy their books, celebrate their verses and vote for them. That the numbers on a TSC won’t ever change how much I believe in their voices, their stories and their relative waves in this absolute ocean. Really. After all that’s been said, done and written, I hope they know that.
Phew. It’s been a long week. And it ain’t over. I do need that word.
Now back to work.
grateful slice: blogging during my work breaks and my 2011 Grade 8 students who I will miss when they graduate