Thursday, March 22, 2007

The downward spiral

Last night I had to stop at TJ's on my way home. Because even though there is all kinds of alcohol in my home, I really wanted wine and there was no wine at home. Actually my original thought had been to stop on my way home for cocktails but then I remembered that I am kind of broke and payday isn't for another week and a half. TJ's was the more economical choice.

And then I got home and greeted the kittens. And almost cried because I couldn't find the corkscrew. But I knew that I didn't want to cry about the misplaced corkscrew. I wanted to cry about other stuff. Because I had been fighting tears since about noon.

Last week I received one of those infamous March 15th letters. This means that there is a possibility that I could be laid off at the end of the year. (I finally told my dad about the letter today as I was driving to TJ's.) Yeah, I had a positive review but it seems that there are three teachers who have been on leave this year. Two plan to return next year. That means two layoffs if folks do not retire as well. The principal told me that I had a 50-50 chance of keeping my job.

Then all the brawling of this week happened. And so yeah, I'm worried about receiving a May 15th letter. (That's the one in which they tell you that you are indeed laid off.) Because it seems that it is purely up to the principal as to who is laid off due to probation and all. Yep, when you are a probationary teacher they can lay you off without cause. Doesn't that give you a warm, secure feeling inside?

Yesterday morning started off with the kid who made the video of the fight entering my room in a snit. I finally found out that he was mad because his father had taken his cellphone away from him. This was before school started so he was just dropping off his backpack in the room. As he was leaving to go outside to play, he yelled, "I hope he burns in hell!" I quickly said that I really didn't believe that he meant that since he loves his father.

Then the principal informed me that it was time to end all of this negative behavior. She had the kids write essays about (1)what they liked about the class, (2) what they didn't like, (3) what changes they would make, and (4) who regularly causes problems. I caught glimpses of what they wrote. From what I saw, they do like being in my class. It's just the behavior of some in the class they don't like. If I went to my gloom-and-doom mentor (or my aunt) with this information, they would assure me that I definitely do not have a job for next year. Probably why I haven't spoken to either of them about it.

Add onto this my own health stresses over the last couple of months. Oh, and don't forget the family members. Last week my stepmother spent most of the week hospitalized due to blood clots near her lungs. But she's home now. She just won't eat. And my dad is completely stressed. Even though he won't admit it.

And right now? Well, I can't stop hearing the chorus from Sting's "I'm So Happy." It's like an endless loop in my head. Because I know that I am only a couple of steps away from completely losing it. And I mean in an institutionalized kind of way. But I keep hoping that if I keep reminding myself about the happy things in my life and spend my days laughing while crying at home that I might just be able to pull myself out this all. And actually I'm maybe a few more steps away than I thought. Because I can still laugh.

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