Sunday, October 10, 2010

Won't These Nightmares Ever End?

Here I am, up once again with the sunrise and several hours before Scott and Ringo will wake up.  I think part of the problem is that my body is re-adjusting to a work schedule, and I woke up this morning at the same time I'd have to wake up on a weekday.  I know plenty of working adults who have this problem.  It's annoying that circadian rhythms don't understand the concept of sleeping in on Sundays.

But besides that, I'm not sleeping well because I'm still being plagued by teaching nightmares.  Seriously?!  Can't we ever move on from this?  My life has moved on.  I'm really enjoying my new job and I'm feeling more at peace with my life than I ever have.

So why am I still reliving all the worst moments from my classroom last year? Is this some kind of mild form of PTSD?

Perhaps part of it is that I'm still doing my part-time TFA job, where I support corps members by meeting with them individually and planning workshops for them.  Yesterday I met with a new teacher who needed help with her classroom management and planning her next unit.  We worked for over 3 hours and she was so excited with the work that she did.  She was curious about my past work as a teacher (naturally.)  So I was forced to explain, once again, why I quit teaching.  She was pretty non-judgmental about it, especially when I talked about how working 80-hour weeks completely burnt me out.  She was really supportive about the fact that I now work at Stanford University.

I don't want to stop doing this TFA job because it helps me feel connected to the mission and allows me to have some impact without having to kill me.  But it does seem to bring up the bad memories in nightmares.  Hopefully as I get more settled into my new job and my life continues to move on, those memories will just fade into the background.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


This week seems to be the week where Scott and I are finally turning the corner away from the ridiculousness and back into our lives.

Last Sunday, we saw an ad in the paper for a sale at a Toyota dealership in Daly City.  After doing some research online, we discovered that the sale price for the 2008 Toyota Prius was equivalent to the Kelly Blue Book value.  So, we drove up to Daly City and bought the car.  We figured we would never find a deal like that again, particularly not one that included a warranty.

So, while we still only have one car, at least it's ours.  That definitely took some pressure off.

In addition to the car, yesterday I got a job at Stanford University!  I'll be the new office coordinator for the Humanities Center.  I could not be more excited.  I feel like I've finally found a job that will actually suit me!  No more having to get to work way before work actually starts to do the work that I should have done last night.  No more having to work every night and every weekend.  No more Sunday freak outs or early morning panic attacks.  Just a simple, 8-to-5-with-an-hour-for-lunch, work-stays-at-work, job.  The people in the department are super nice, and the woman who offered me the job couldn't stop talking about how thrilled they are to have me come on board.  The best part?  I'll be making the same salary I was making before, which means that we can go back to living relatively comfortably while also saving a lot more money for a house.

So, now it's time for me to reflect on how good it feels to be going to a place where the people actually care about my own well-being, and they care about whether or not I like my job.  I'm not just an achievement-gap closing robot who is supposed to shut up and get results.  I'm not an automatron who can work ridiculous hours without extra compensation, who can put up with horrible emotional and mental abuse from administrators and students alike.  I'm a human being with self-worth, and this new job reflects that.  They want me to like my job so I can do a good job at it.  The ironic thing is that this is really the only thing that has to happen in order to feel job satisfaction.  If I'm supported by my superiors, and not being treated like dirt, then I'll want to work hard for them.  Period.  And I just can't wait to start on Tuesday!