The back to school dreams have started.
Actually, they started pretty much the first day of vacation for me this year. Luckily, I managed to go most of the school year and even most of last summer without having the dreams. These haven’t been as bad as some. Mostly it’s dreaming about going back to school now and being totally unprepared. The usual stuff. One in particular that I had earlier this week involved somehow making it through the morning teaching in French and then trying to get through Math class only to discover that I should have been teaching math in the morning and that it was time for French according to the person from District who came in to observe me teach. One neat thing about it was all the students knew this song about math that they sang for me. They told me their former teacher, Mrs. Rock, had taught it to them. Mrs. Rock who teaches things using music? I don’t know where my subconscious comes up with these things. Luckily in this dream, the kids were pretty well behaved but I felt like a chicken with my head cut off.
I know why I’m having these dreams. I’m starting to think about how I want next year to go. I’m starting to think about how I want to run my classroom and what sorts of routines I want to have. I’ve given myself a nice break to recover from last year’s trials and I think I’ll start getting into school stuff next week after my audition is over. I normally give myself the month of July before I get into my school stuff, but where I’m moving to a new school, where I won’t be able to get into my classroom until late August and where I have a lot of weddings and things in August I want to get going while the going’s good.
Plus, getting a little more prepared will help stave off the school dreams.
At least no one is jumping on desks or throwing things. I don’t like those dreams…
You know how people talk about how they didn’t realize just how sick they were until they got better? That’s kind of how I’m feeling right now except it was stress rather than being sick, though they are related. Since being on vacation for less than a week I’m feeling more like myself and realizing just how far from feeling like myself I had felt.
I noticed it the most today when I was cooking lunch for myself. I was making some pasta salad using fresh vegetables, mostly from the Farmer’s Market and some herbs from my garden. I was enjoying the sun streaming in through the kitchen window as I cut up the vegetables. It took me a moment to realize that I used to cook like this for myself all the time and that I hadn’t been doing that much this year. I hadn’t been taking pleasure in the simple task of cooking and eating good food. There were moments when I did during the school year, but everything felt so rushed and there was always a stream of thoughts about school running through my head.
This was a stressful year; my most stressful year even. I feel I can say that without exaggeration. In both my personal life and work life nothing has come close to this. Even living on my own in Scotland, even the time when I didn’t have a job and was worried about how I would be able to have enough money to survive, was not as stressful. I think it’s mostly that those moments of stress were short-lived, however huge at the time.
Now that I’m on vacation I’m back to gardening more, back to cooking and eating more mindfully, back to spending more time with my husband and our cats, back to reading whenever I want for however long I want. I want to get back to writing more this summer as well.
My husband played a show for Canada Day yesterday and near the end I saw a whole herd of my former students, mostly from my pre-intensive classes. I was so happy to see them. I will miss them very much. But for now, I’m happy to be back to me.