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This is who I really am

 Okay, so, it's been over a year.

Last summer the principal of my daughters' school called to see if I'd be interested in working part time as an Educational Assistant.  As I wasn't doing anything else of much importance and was dreading the long, lonely, silent winter ahead, I agreed.  

It was good for me and bad for me.  I ended up mostly being a lunch room and recess teacher, a glorified babysitter.  

None of the several ladies I worked with or I had any power over our charges unless some gross rule-breaking happened and the principal got involved.  Some took that as a challenge and lorded it over the kids, some took that as a mild suggestion and didn't do anything at all.  I was able to thread the narrow gap between holding down the floor and being the kids'  jailer.  It was dicey. Kids do shitty things to each other sometimes and I had to intervene on several occasions.

Mostly, though, we decided we liked each other, the student body and me. I hit it off best with the 4th graders at lunch.  My girls were in three of the four classes and were widely regarded as okay types, so the 4th graders were pre-disposed to being tolerant of my ridiculous antics.  All 80 of them and me sang We Will Rock You and Bohemian Rhapsody and pounded on cafeteria tables a lot.  We also sang The Lion Sleeps Tonight at the top of our lungs in what might be considered harmony on alien planets.  You would not believe how loud my upper register is when I belt out the high parts of that song.   I also demonstrated a decent Moonwalk and a short tutting routine, which earned me all kinds of undeserved cred.  

When I wasn't patrolling the lunch room, I stood outside and made sure nobody killed themselves or other people at recess, which is harder than it looks.  I said funny things "Geez, kid, you still got both your eyeballs and most of your teeth?  How about let's not do that again, shall we?" and was sympathetic "I can't believe he said that to you.  He's lucky you're so polite.  Thanks for not tearing his arm off and beating him with the wet end." and was scary "Oi!  You!  I saw what you did there! Knock that off or you sit at the Table of Shame the rest of recess!"  

The summer off was interesting.  I went back to my silent ways after a few weeks.  I missed having daily contact with other adults, whether I actually liked them or not.  I found myself drifting again into old mental pathways of shame and regret.  I didn't have time to have a job until recently so I can't say that I wish I'd gotten a job sooner--not many places allow one to have summers off--but I'm glad I had something else to do but sit in my house and brood.

Summer is nearly over.  School starts next week.  I'll be working mornings instead of afternoons this year, which means I'll have to be up and around early instead of having the option of a long, leisurely, unproductive morning.  I'm looking forward to going back, but I know that at some point it won't be enough.  I'm not going to lean into it, though, and consider my next move.  When I make plans and goals, God snorts and chuckles and sends me the most outrageous reminders that I'm not actually steering my cranky little boat.  I'm just the kid in the passenger seat, gripping my toy wheel and frowning out the windscreen as if I think I'm getting anywhere on my own volition.  

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
semiauto
Aug. 10th, 2011 06:19 pm (UTC)
welcome back!
yoshimi
Aug. 10th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
i wish i felt that way about God. i feel like i'm far too in charge of what's going on with me and i'd kind of like someone to take it out of my hands for awhile.

maybe i need to go reread 'footprints,' although i like your kid-with-the-toy-wheel imagery.

i am jealous of your job. enjoy! sorry about the lack of mornings, however.
firstashore
Aug. 13th, 2011 01:01 pm (UTC)
Hey Gina. Long time!

I work with a girl called Gina, she reminds me of you, though she's from New Jersey (I don't know that much about America but I do know I'm supposed to tease her about that, so I do).

But yeah. She reminds me of you. Sassy American broad. :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )