This will be very concise, since I'm supposed to be grading right now. Midpoint is next week, and the kids are starting to get itchy to see where their grades stand. Besides, Steve was hoping he and I could munch some popcorn together before we head to bed...
An oddity has occurred this year. I've taken note of it, but haven't known what to think of it. I haven't been nervous. At all. In my 12 years of teaching -4 different schools, high school and collegiate, everything from general 9th to college literary analysis, I've been nervous at least the first few classes, sometimes even more. I've started with a shaky voice, butterflies desperate to escape their enclosure, shaky hands. I've recaptured myself quickly, but the nervousness has always been there.
This year, I jumped in to the new year with nary a hesitation. I didn't shake. I didn't waver. I had no cocoons (hatching?) into butterflies. None of that. I recall thinking, way in the back of my mind, "This is weird. Why aren't I nervous?" I then thought I'd wait until the next day (odd/even block scheduling), but the same thing happened. On THAT first day, I, again, just plowed through the day as though it were the last week of classes instead of the first week. So, then I thought I'd wait until Back to School Night, where the parents of my students follow their children's schedules in order to meet the teachers, see the new/renewed school (construction), etc. And, again, no real symptoms of nervousness. I was out of breath, but that's because I was traveling my 4-room schedule with only 5 minutes in between each change and no time to catch my breath.
No anxiety. Kind of nice, but also rather unsettling. Am I getting so experienced that new faces, names, parents no longer faze me? Nah. I couldn't be that lucky...or good. The only explanation I have is that my mind and body are so focused on accomplishing my goals and getting the kids off to a running start with so few materials and resources at my disposal, that there is no room, no energy, no sleep that can be wasted on anxiety. Makes sense. If your body can actually begin to eat itself (muscle mass) when you are not taking in enough calories, couldn't it also prevent you from experiencing an emotion that is common when you don't have the mental capacity to entertain said emotion?
So, here's to appreciating the hectic new year. Here's to celebrating the distractions of construction, technology upgrades, and the Freshman Initiative. Here's to putting to rest the waste of emotion and energy when it can be used in so many more productive ways. Here's to distraction!