Thursday, May 17, 2018

on the road

Normally I'd think about a post like this well in advance and gather my thoughts.  I'd have an experience and then take some time to reflect on it.  Well, not today.  This one is fresh and raw...who knows where it will go.

It's Thursday night of the Sand Sculpture class.  I'm at the coast.  It's 10:20pm and I just got back to my room.  For the last 4 days, I've been driving my students pretty hard.  They're sore, tired, exhausted mentally and physically and they got rained on kinda bad today.  About half are sunburned in at least one small spot as well.  

And maybe it's just Stockholm Syndrome or something like it but almost all of them still act like they're having a good time.  

I'm also tired.

And also having a good time.

The people I'm with are good people.  Lots of positive people with positive energy.  The landscape here is calming and it feels comfortable like home.  The food is amazing.  And then there's the idea that I get to teach what I love amid all that goodness.  It makes the 5.5 hours of sleep each night and the long days in the sun and rain worthwhile.  

Teaching isn't easy.  If you don't believe that, please volunteer to teach any class for a week.  If you want to do it well, you have to learn to read your students and find ways to get through to them.  You also have to actually teach them the subject matter.  And if you don't want them to hate it, you also have to find a way to make it fun.  Even when it's not fun.  Especially when it's not fun.  

Moving hundreds of pounds of wet sand in an hour or so in the sun is not fun.  Carving for hours on that sand and having it all fall over in a second is not fun.  Having the wind and rain knock it over or ruin the texture you spent another hour creating is not fun.  Getting up early, working hard all day and staying up late is probably not so fun either.  

So the little energy I have left in the day must be directed at being goofy and ridiculous and finding ways to make tired people laugh.  And then, at 10:46pm, when you're done with all the actual work associated with the sand sculpture class and you're falling asleep standing up, you have to remember that you also have a whole life outside of school and didn't get to call the wife and kids before they went to bed an hour ago and you have emails to respond to.  And you have to set that alarm for 5:30am so you'll be ready to slog with your students at 6:00am with a smile.

I think I'm trying to say I'm very tired and very happy.  But I miss my family and my dogs.

Fine humans.

I'm going to bed.

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