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Tuesday, April 10, 2007




I have had a very pleasant, relaxing Spring Break. Didn't do anything all that spectacular. The closest I came to a vacation was the day I drove my wife to Long Island for periodontal surgery. (And I'm certain my wife will appreciate my description of that as a "vacation". Sorry, sweetheart. I promise I don't actually consider your painful experience a relaxing getaway. Although I did get to lounge around a beautiful strip mall.)

Even though I haven't jetted off to Maui, though, I've had a very peaceful time the last week. It's been like a refreshing nap in the middle of a hectic day. But--as long as we're going with the nap analogy--I had a couple of instances yesterday and today where I jerked awake and had a few panicky moments before I realized I could go back to sleep. Lemme 'splain.

I don't have the New York City school calendar printed up and posted by my desk or anything, but I look at it occasionally, and I usually have a pretty good idea of when breaks are coming up. Before this Spring Break, I double-checked to make sure that we were actually off until April 11th. I had this knowledge in my head and felt confident of it.

But then, yesterday, I got a little uneasy as I got ready to take my dogs for their morning walk. What if, I thought, I got it wrong? What if I actually have to be at work this morning and I'm late and I have to try to make a mad dash for the train?

I did my best to reassure myself. "Hey, you're not an idiot, bra'," I told myself. "If you think you're off 'til Wednesday, you're off 'til Wednesday." My mind was set further at ease as I walked by a school down the block and saw, at the late, late hour of 6:50, that the lights in their office was off. I breathed a sigh of relief and came back to the apartment, where I enjoyed a That Girl marathon on Oxygen.

It happened again this morning. "Yeah, you think you're off today, but how do you know? How do you know?" I should probably note here that I hate--fucking hate--being late. Three years at my current job and I haven't been late once. I would much rather get to work early and sit around on my ass for half an hour, twiddling my thumbs, than walk in three minutes late and have to run up the stairs before my teacherless class goes Lord of the Flies and throws a flaming overhead projector out the window.

My panic this morning was not helped by the fact that, this time, when I walked past the school down the block, I heard music coming from one of the classrooms above my head. Further along the building, I see a ground-floor class with its lights on. Rounding the building, I notice that the kitchen window is open and lights are on in there as well. Things aren't looking good.

Now, I should say that this by no means convinced me that I was vacationally mistaken. I hadn't actually seen any teachers. Also, this is the freaky charter school that starts classes in the middle of August and has kids at school on Saturdays, so it wouldn't surprise me if they'd been back studying algorithms for days.

Still, the seed of doubt had been planted. So I pulled on my dogs' leashes and dashed down the sidewalk. Our older dog, Ben, threw me a look that said, "You do realize I haven't crapped yet? Do you truly want me to dump in the house?"

I ran up the stairs and hurriedly typed the Department of Ed calendar page into the web browser. There in plain black and white: Spring Break: March 31-April 10. One last day of sweet, sweet freedom. I'm so fucking retarded.

I do the same thing. I guess I'm not used to breaks from WORK, even after three years.
I just picture my students (adults) discussing my poor weekday personal hygene and bad weekday hair if I'm late & they have no one to guide them.
The freaking out always ruins any sort of break I have. I am an idiot.
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