Things are about to get real

At the best of times, my schedule causes minor (sometimes major) meltdowns. My day starts at 4:30am (okay... by the end of the year, 5am) and I'm at work by 6:45. On good days, I can be home between 4 and 5, eat dinner, and be asleep by 9pm. During speech season, I get home much closer to 6 or 7 and sometimes crash before I've even had time to eat. During that season, that schedule usually extends to Saturdays, as well. I clocked my hours, and during my busiest season, I put in about 60-70 hours a week and usually don't see sunlight for days at a time because my classroom is windowless. I understand that many people work hard and put in similar (or more) hours each week. But this is about me. And this schedule makes me tired. Exhausted. And frequently crabby.

And this year, it's about to get worse, because this fall I start graduate school.

And I didn't do the sensible thing that most people I know did--I didn't go online, and I didn't go through a cohort program set up specifically for teachers. I didn't take a sabbatical from coaching. I didn't step down from my literacy position at school. I just jumped back in and crossed my fingers I'd be able to handle it all. And the excitement was palpable. I mean, I'm even a nontraditional student, so I think that means I get to drag around one of those rolling backpacks that drove me crazy when I was an undergrad. I can't wait to use my brain in this way again--to be a student surrounded by other students who want to be there, discussing literature. No one complaining that this is stupid, they had other homework, and seriously, is there a movie version of this?  But now, less than two weeks before this all starts, it's finally hit me that this could go disgustingly, frighteningly wrong.

And if I am honest, I'm worried.

No. I'm scared.

I'm scared that I won't balance it all, and I won't get all that I can out of my college classes. I love education, and I love learning. I take these things seriously. I want to enjoy my graduate classes, and I want to learn all I can. And, if I am honest, I'm a perfectionist. I've never gotten lower than an A in a class, so there's that...

I'm also scared I will let my students down by coasting, that I'll become one of those teachers who just shows movies or whose class is so ridiculously easy that I might as well be showing movies. I work with some of those teachers, and I don't respect them and the worst thing I can think of in my career is to find myself among their ranks.

I'm scared that, after the huge success my speech team experienced last season--first place in sections and 11 advanced to state--that my busy schedule will make me neglect these amazing students and I'll fail to get these kids to where they should be, where they deserve to be.

I'm scared, mostly, that it's going to really really suck, that I can't do it all, and that I'm signing up for two long years that are going to make me even more exhausted than I have been in the past. And that's not an inviting prospect.

But, I keep telling myself that all I can do is my best, that it's only two years, and that it might end up being really really amazing. And barring that,  at least Rome is waiting for me after graduation. 

So here goes nothing.

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