06 Jun

Why I haven’t posted in the past few days

It’s one of the oldest mom lessons there is: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.

The last two weeks of school are never good from a teacher standpoint. You’ve got failing students suddenly taking interest in your classes and scrambling to turn in late work; if you accept it, you need to grade it all; you’re dealing with the usual load of end-of-the-year essays and final exams and whatnot; you’ve probably got parents calling you or parents calling guidance counselors who are calling you; you’ve got all sorts of little paperwork to do (things like textbook return forms); and if you have any students who piss you off, they’re guaranteed to get under your skin in these last few weeks. If you haven’t started yet, you’ll begin having school-related panic dreams soon; they’ll last until a week or two into summer.

June 5th (also known as the final day of Timmas) was, foreseeably, a horrible day. It was the last day of classes, to be followed by three days of exams. I had fumed all weekend about the students who were pissing me off, and on Sunday night when I was trying to fall asleep, I just kept rehearsing angry speeches I was going to deliver to those students. I ended up getting out of bed around midnight — after unsuccessfully trying to fall asleep — and surfing the internet for the lyrics to a song by Vincentico called “Los Caminos de la Vida.” The song had been running through my head all day; it’s lyrics were oddly comforting. The translated chorus goes something like this:

Los caminos de la vida, (the paths of life)
no son los que yo esperaba, (aren’t the one I hoped for)
no son los que yo creia, (aren’t the ones I believed they’d be)
no son los que imaginaba (aren’t the ones I imagined)

Los caminos de la vida, (the paths of life)
son muy dificiles de andarlos, (are very difficult to walk)
dificiles de caminarlos, (are very difficult to travel)
y no encuentro la salida. (and there’s no way to avoid them — literally ‘and I can’t find the exit’)

After watching the music video a couple times, I headed back to bed around 1:00. I find it fascinating that a song whose thesis is pretty much “this difficult life is not what I had hoped it would be” could be so soothing to my troubled mind. I guess I don’t find it that strange, just fascinating. When life sucks, it’s somehow nice to know that it sucks for other people. That’s funny. “Los Caminos de la Vida” ended up being the first song I heard on my birthday and an appropriate anthem for the crappy day that followed. Given, it didn’t comfort me much later in the day when I was scolding the student who had missed 30 days of class, but years from now, which do you think I’ll remember? The student or the song?

The good news is that in light of recent events, I’ve decided to postpone Timmas until June 10th, so there are four more days of Timmas! Woot!

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