Sunday, August 23, 2009

Taking Time Out While There's Time to Take

Some random Ed activities today, but nothing concrete- mostly flipping back and forth between email, writing that article for Social Education and procrastinating like a professional.

Yesterday I took the day off, too, which is a skill teachers must master in order to be successful. When I was in college I could work seven days a week. While taking eighteen or nineteen credit hours, I held down a couple part-time jobs, worked 25-30 hour weeks in addition to the course load and pulled an eleven to thirteen hour shift once a week. When I started working in the South Bronx last year it became blindingly apparent in the first two months that I had to learn to take time for myself or the floundering act I was performing would soon turn into a drowning act. You hear it all the time as advice from veterans: take time for yourself. Those that don't burn out quickly. The strong vein of adolescence still left in me as I went through college spoke to the opposite- of course I could work hundred hour weeks with no rest. I'd gotten good grades in college doing something similar, right? The veterans are just old and worn out and can't handle the rigors of the classroom (about which I knew next to nothing). They complain too much and should only cherish the fact that they have the opportunity to teach the children, right?

As a teacher entering their second year, I can certainly vouch for the fact that taking a break is necessary. Hell, taking a personal day is sometimes warrented, depending on your life circumstances. That's what they're there for. While school hasn't started yet out here on the coast, I'm both enjoying my last days of summer and practicing to take a few minutes for myself this year. It would also be a shame to live in a city like this and not enjoy it. If I can't do it myself, how can I teach my students to do it?

Last Night's Wine: I split a bottle of Zaccagnini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Tralcetto. Sounds fancy, right? The variety of grape is Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, which is a grape grown in east-central Italy (Abruzzo), east of Rome. This bottle isn't ridiculously expensive and has a stick attached to it- presumably part of a vine?. Montepulciano is another variety that's pretty easy drinking if you like red wine at all whatsoever. If you bring up the name it makes you sound like you know what you're talking about too- another important ability as a teacher.

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