Monday, March 01, 2010

Yellow Legal Pads

Hello, all! I know it's been forever since I posted last, and that was after I made a certain commitment to posting regularly. I guess that all went down the metaphorical toilet quickly, right? There is a pretty good reason for that: teaching. Honestly, I have never been more tired in my entire life. It wasn't this bad when I was working at a summer camp, getting very little sleep and dealing with energetic elementary school kids all day and all night, it wasn't this bad.

My life has become so structured in the last few weeks, it's ridiculous. I've always had a certain affinity for yellow legal pads but nowadays I live my life by them. I seriously have a whole stack in my room, filled with checklists, addresses, notes, prayer lists, Bible verses to look up, students whose parents I need to call or whose papers I have yet to grade, and all sorts of other little things (like the number of the mechanic I had to scribble down today after I had car trouble).

Seriously, I had no idea being a grown up was like this. At the same time, I really enjoy the amount of structure. I like the checklists and the prayer lists. It actually helps me get stuff done. Oh, of course I still procrastinate. Heck, I am procrastinating on grading some spelling tests at this very moment. But I'm still able to get all the work I need to get done done. And honestly, I've never felt more assertive and in control in my life. It's quite liberating in a way.

One thing that I think intrigues me about my newfound reliance on checklists is that it gives me a certain view of how much a person can get done in a day. There are so many little interactions that one barely ever notices, but writing them all down on a little legal pad makes you realize just how much stuff human beings do in a day (especially those who work a job as stressful as teaching English to high school students).

I don't know if there's anything particularly profound or interesting about that. I'm still learning how to deal with everything. I do intent to blog every day this week. Not long posts, and probably nothing too deep either. I just like the structure of it, and I like the idea of getting back into a daily blog habit, which is how this blog first started. I hope you all stick around for the adventure, because let me tell you, it's pretty wild!


Daemon said...

Wow...sounds pretty busy man! Glad to see you have a framework to hang your responsibilities on and are working the plan.

Prayers for you for rest and peace and glad to see you bloggin' again. :)


globetrotter said...

Hmm, my critical eye migrates to two lines in this post: "just liking the structure of it" and "never felt control."

I think you have to be careful because structure may give you the illusion of being in control. And whether it's the illusion of it or the real deal, I'm not so sure control is high on the Christian values list. Yeah yeah, we all like to have it together, so to speak, (especially teachers ;) ), but it seems to me that people who're always trying to be in control are sorta puttin on airs, out to impress somebody (which I don't think you are!). Anyways, enough argumentativeness for a post that didn't call for it! Peace out.

Erik said...

I have found that as I get older not only am I super busy but my short term memory isn't what it use to be so I rely on sticky notes in my wallet to remind me of things to do (pick up from dry cleaners, change the oil in my truck, buy some coffee etc.)

I not only need a "to do" list but I also rely on a "what I did" list at work to keep track of what I did and when I did it so when someone asks me later about a project I can recall if and when it was completed.

They say there are three things that "go" when you get older:

(1) Your hair.
(2) Your memory
(3) Hmmmm... I forgot what #3 was, I'll have to check my notes.

College Jay said...

Daemon: Thank you for the prayers, man.

Globetrotter: No worries, man! I totally understand what you mean. I guess it's not control exactly that makes me happy. Honestly, teaching isn't really about control, but it's about handling the situation when things begin to get out of hand. I certainly have to rely on God for that. It's been a time of spiritual growth for me, and I'm still musing on it.

Erik: You always make me laugh, man. I love you and I hope you are well!