I am a Middle School Teacher in Oakland, Hear me Roar. Or Cry.

I barely managed to survive Week 9 of school. OK, so I'm being dramatic. A bit. That's my problem, of course. I exaggerate my problems. A bit. I think.

Another teacher has quit at our school. That's four down in 9 weeks. According to my unofficial and hasty calculations, a quarter of our teachers have quit.

I am the 75%.

Ha. Ha.

If I were to write a "Chronicles of my First Year Teaching in Oakland" book, it would not be a heartwarming, inspirational Oprah's book club book turned Oscar-nominated, based-on-a-true-story-starring-Jennifer-Garner movie. It would be pitiful and neurotic, teeming with baseless resentment with a touch of self-loathing.

I might become a bitter, hateful, un-teaching teacher. I wouldn't know when I crossed the line that separates green teacher with a bleeding heart and... well, sucky teacher. For now, I will push through Year 1 telling myself that I am as bitter and downtrodden as every first year urban middle school teacher there ever was. 

= = =

If I were to quit my job, I'd sell all my things and move in with my parents in Hawaii. HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT BE?! I'd get a job doing whatever... doesn't really matter. Anything to pay off my loans and dinner and lunch for the day. 

I'd go running every day.

I'd read books on the beach.

I'd probably be a little depressed.

I'd wonder about how my kids are doing... the ones who were nice to me, anyway.

I'd get to do my laundry (without having to scrounge for quarters) in my parents' nice washing machine. I'd separate my clothes according to its differing dryer needs rather than throwing them all in one load and hoping for the best.

I'd get a tan.

I'd have hour-long lunches with my mom during her lunch hour. We'd watch recorded Filipino soap operas with her at night and, let's be honest, on the weekends, too.

I'd get sick of Honolulu Cookies, the best cookies on the planet.

I'd go to the shooting range with my dad. We'd look for a new hobby; we'd consider digital photography, pinhole photography, golf, and water sports; we'd buy new equipment, try the hobby once, try it again three weeks later, and then forget about it altogether.

I'd go bike riding once in the hot, humid weather and decide that I don't like bike riding in Hawaii.

I wouldn't have any friends.

I'd want to go back to school as a student, but not to study anything in particular, only to have guided, thought-provoking readings and half-assed A+ papers because that's how I roll.

I'd miss the city scene of gentrified Oakland and the annoying self-righteousness of the Bay Area with all it's delicious and over-priced goods at the local farmers' markets.

I'd blog all day about nothing interesting, but feel good about it anyway.

I'd kiss my dreams of traveling the world during paid holidays, funded by a decent living wage earned all on my own, goodbye.

= = =

I'm writing a long, meandering blog entry because I am giving myself an emotional massage in order to pry myself out of my stressed-out emotional rut. 

I took a mini vacation this morning by: going to bed at 4AM despite my fatigue and better judgement; I got out of bed at 10AM to meet up with girlfriends; lounged by the Lake Merritt farmers market while eating expensive wholesome food and kneading lush, green grass and marveling at the uncharacteristically hot and sunny October Bay Area weather...

I vegged out in front of the TV by myself for 2 hours, finished a book, started a new book, started a load of laundry, stalked people on Facebook, and am now blogging...

I'm trying to fill my head with noise to sever myself from the stresses of work... that is, until I absolutely have to face said stresses again, starting tomorrow. Sunday. Lesson planning and grading day. Whoo.

This blog post does not belong in a blog titled "Quest for Inspiration". Or maybe it does. Whatever. Here it is.

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