Sunday, August 31, 2008

Confessions of a 2nd Year Teacher

Even though I had a pretty good short trip to Bethel for a Special Education inservice (I was inspired, and challenged, and I truly was full of life and new knowledge), I awoke this morning in a depression. I know this blog is called "Radiate Warmth" and I usually try to help people through sharing the good things of life, but today maybe it should be called "Wallow in Self Pity." I don't really know what it is. I just don't really want to be here right now (and by here I mean on this giant igneous rock in the middle of an abyss of a sea), and the year has only begun, we have so far to go and I feel like so many people are depending on me and all I want to say is "Deal with it!" I don't even really feel like teaching this week (is that wrong), all I want to do is go home or lay in bed and watch movies. Maybe I need you guys to send me some love to get me straight, or maybe I should just get over it.

I didn't experience this feeling last year because I was too bright eyed and bushy tailed and busy trying to save the world and make it a better place. Unfortunately I also have a way of swimming into the center of the dilemma and now that I further begin to understand my place in this village/district/state I feel less and less like I am supposed to be here, or that I can really accomplish anything or make a lasting impression. Kind of a disconcerting thought to tell you the truth. Trying to make a difference in a foreign place takes fitness. What I mean by fitness is that not everyone can just come up here and go day in and day out, over and over, putting their hearts out on the line, sacrificing themselves and their life and their comfort and their preference and their time and also be expected to be sunshine and lolly pops all the time. Sometimes we wear out, and today is one of those days.

Since these days have been few and far between over the last year I'm going to just let it be for now and hope that tomorrow is better. These funks we get into have to run their natural course like a flu, right now I have a funk'll pass.

I feel like this next poem is possibly some of my best work to date (whiny self pity is good for something). I wrote it last week when this feeling in my stomach began. Maybe it will become a song. I hope you will take the time to respond.

Awkwardly Simple

Our silver arms,
At least act like you made me.
Always a new plow
Scares us. Can you hear me?
You asked to come in.
What kinda way is this?
What kinda way is this?
You came and saw,
No right to’ve saw.
Oh no. Now way.

How scared was I?
And I have to spring on.
Who will apply
On the yearning seafloor?
You don’t scare me.
I’m walking away this time
I’m walking away this time.
I can’t decide how far it goes
House cleaning and slow lies
House cleaning and slow lies
But I decide my own worth.
Oh no. Oh.

Invested years,
And loosened ears,
You can’t get out,
Or run down it.
I ache about it.
Follow me down.

I live in times
Without kisses.
What is my plan
To undo steep hands?
Is that me rocking?
Is that knocking
In me so simple?
Awkwardly simple.

I fell off like
A flipping fall line.
I’ve done this highlight.
Now let go life.
In the aura
You push too for it
At last.
Were you shoved in?
Have you climbed over
A four leafed clover?
I can’t get out
I want the out.

I live in times
Without kisses.
What is my plan
To undo steep hands?
Is that me rocking?
Is that the knocking
In me so simple?
Awkwardly simple.

This poem is kind of about a conversation with yourself and how you can feel so deeply about the future and past simultaneously while also being completely caught up in the moment. Its kind of where all of time swirls together.

The Weekly Update is below.


Anonymous said...


I was in the grocery store today and a Native American 8th grade girl saw me at the end of the aisle. She was our most problematic student that I worked with last year and is scheduled to go to off-site schooling, as a result of last year.

Kaylee said, after she hugged me, I was just thinking about you. She said that she's been drug free for a month.

One student at a time!!!! Yes, you're needed.

Please feel free to comment on Chandra's/Kathys' blog.


Susan Iverson said...

Did you realize that is less than 4 months to your return. Don't let the depression of one day which is really just a micro second in the scheme of things get you down. You will bounce back happier than ever! You should post a picture of your new look!

alisha said...

A teacher effect eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. ~Henry Adams

Kale, It was good to have you in town this weekend. It's always fun to have you around. You affect the lives of everyone that you encounter, sometimes in small ways, sometimes large ways. Take your 'feel sorry for me' day and then suck it up :) Life is good! You know damn well it is! Holy did it, eh? I agree with your mom...we need a pic!

Take care...keep your smile on!

hdt said...

I'm sorry I haven't been writing comments lately. I'm getting ready to go back to work and such but know that I'm thinking of you and will be back in the blog scene (sphere?) soon. Take care, hdt.

John said...


I'm a recent reader of your blog. I've been in social services for 8 years, but have relocated from Chicago to Los Angeles and am feeling disheartened daily with the struggle of surviving in the helpers profession. I'm certain your aware "If there is No struggle, there is No progress" I have to remind myself of that daily right now. It helps with perspective as well as motivation, understanding that I will gain from the will you.

Vicki said...

Hey Kale.

So I had a pretty crappy day at school today. really rough day. Made me start pondering what other parts of the world I would be happier in... what places I could travel where I'm more appreciated... what scenery I would find more inspiring. Made me frustrated that I am unable to effectively connect with these students I sincerely care about so much! Made me angry that, even after all the hard work I put into making opportunities for them, I receive harassment and resistance in place of gratitude.

At the end of today, I felt as if I had been physically abused. It didn't boil down to me taking things personally, yada-yada-yada. It came down to me caring too much...that the lack of caring hurt me.

Anyway, I wanted to thank you for being real in your blog post. I don't want to read about 'radiate warmth' if it's fake. Warmth is worth nothing if it's artificial or manipulative mind games trying to convince yourself to return to the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed phase of teaching.

Considering I am very much in the same depressed state right now, sorry I can't be of much encouragement apart from just being thankful you spoke your real thoughts and emotions.

good luck

to view my other blog OUT OF THE CLOSET ATHEIST click HERE