Just Plain Tired · 22 June 2019
As much as I love my job, the end of the school year makes me just plain tired.
Lately, when people ask me the question, “How are you?” I have been answering, “Tired.” I know. The correct answer is supposed to be, “Fine.” And for the most part, I am fine. As in “Doing well enough that I can say fine, but not well enough to say great. Which is not to say poorly, but definitely not amazing. But somewhere between great and not so great. In other words, just fine.”
Actually, I usually reply, “Well.” Not as a commentary on people’s grammar or anything like that. (I know that there is no one good. Not one.) I am usually well. Well in body. Well in spirit. Well altogether. So it is my usual reply. But at the end of the school year, I am tired. So that has been my reply lately.
It is funny. I usually do not realize why I am tired. So when people ask me how I am doing at the end of the school year, I sometimes reply, “Tired. But I don’t know why.” And I really do not know. Until I think about it. It is June. I am tired. Oh yes. It is the end of the school year, and I am always tired at the end of the school year.
And so are the students.
I understand why the students are tired. There are tests to take and projects to finish.
Which is also why the teachers are tired. There are tests to grade and projects to score. There are also hands to hold as the students wind their way to the finish line. There are cheers to cheer as they work to accomplish greatness or even mediocrity. “You can do it!” “Way to go!” All of which takes energy. But I never realize it until I think about it. I am tired, but I do not really know why. Until I think about it. It is June. I am tired. Oh yes. It is the end of the school year, and I am always tired at the end of the school year. But I never realize it until I think about it. I am just plain tired.
(By the way, if you thought you already read the last part of the previous paragraph, you did. I am not sure if I was trying to be funny or if I am just too tired and wrote the same thing again. Or if I was trying to be clever. Ah well. I do know that I did it on purpose.)
The school year is like a marathon. Pacing and effort are important. The more you can pace yourself and give a constant effort all year long, the better you can finish the race, rather the school year. But just like a marathon (as if I would know since I have not run one), there can be a great push at the finish. Whether you are pushing to be first or just pushing to finish. And that is why I am tired at the end of the school year. I am pushing and pulling and poking and prodding students to help them finish. And that takes energy. Beyond the normal energy just to get to the end in the first place.
There is one more energy drain at the end of the school year. It is saying, “Goodbye” to former students. The seniors are gone and they leave a little empty spot in my heart when they go. I know I will see some of them again, but most go on their merry way and I am left to wonder what great things they have done. It is emotional to say goodbye to anybody, but not knowing when or if you will see somebody again is draining.
Well, that was a long bit of prose to say something pretty simple. I guess all I really needed to say was: It is the end of another school year. And like the ones before, I am just plain tired.
I need a nap.
© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi
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