I think I’m there I’m here I am by turns happy and miserable I have always been up and down with teaching every teacher is but I don’t think I’ve ever been so low as this.
I gave up yesterday. I gave up on, I will call her, Jolly. I worked hard to give personalized line-by-line feedback on Jolly's argument Sunday evening. I explained in detail why her sentences don’t work, don’t make sense, are hard to understand, do no work, have poor structure. I could go on and on. What is frustrating about Jolly is that she is unwilling to dig in. I am invested to this ridiculous point of investment because when I gave the students the opportunity to write me a letter (for extra credit) she very eloquently ripped me a new one. And she’s blonde and probably the homecoming queen probably that girl in high school. So I want to please her. I want her to like me. I want her to give me a good evaluation. I want to be her favorite teacher. And I am fifty years old. Soon to be fifty-one. And I still want to be voted most popular, to be the bell of the ball I think maybe it’s time to let go.
I was at the point of tears. So angry. And hurt. Because she would not listen. And her friend, Not-So-Jolly, doesn’t much like me either. They whisper in class. Jolly constantly says things under her breath and complains and whines and really, if I was at liberty, if I had tenure or any kind of real power I would just kick her out of my class. As it is, I am kicking her to the curb. I no longer care.
And that makes me sad. And it makes me especially sad that if she knew how I felt, if she read this blog post or crawled into my head and lay down in it and soaked all this anger and sadness up, she wouldn’t care. She is callous. She is selfish. She is a bitch. And I wash my hands of her. I can do no more I will not do anymore for her.
There are so many students in the class who are doing well. Who have risen to the occasion. Who are ready to rock and roll. Who are completing this very difficult paper and moving on and will likely get Bs, which is all Jolly and her ilk really care about, a B or an A.
The thing is, I should have more compassion. I was like Jolly. I know I was. In math class. I was constantly frustrated and no doubt said things under my breath and acted the ass. My first math teacher in college told me off in class, going so far as to tell me that I was a bad person and she couldn’t believe I had any friends. So I must have been like Jolly. But there is a difference. That teacher never offered me any help as far as I can remember. She never reached out to me and I didn’t know how to reach out to her.
So fuck Jolly.
I am anxious this morning. Anxious over work. Anxious free floating free falling my chest is a mess am I becoming depressed is it the lack of lithium or is it really October this October without color and now this November and shortly my birthday and shortly the madness of Xmas the madness of the clenching of the trying hard not to scream of the why can’t I work anymore teach anymore of whatever the baby the tinsel I am anxious I tell you my chest is a mess.
The not writing. The not hearing about the book nothing is happening the book will never sell.
And then there is the mouth, the place where the devil slithers in thank you John Milton for your improvements upon the holy word. There is the mouth that is perfectly able to keep shut hold in its fucks its penises its jokes its sarcasm its sexual asides its gnarly its totally inappropriate for the classroom penis jokes really I can’t seem to control myself or I don’t want to control myself I should probably pursue a career in stand-up.
I cannot keep it in my mouth whatever is in there wants to come out I need to take it to the mat and pound it open and out.
And another thing is the age. I was thinking as I do from time to time about applying for a job at a university. Teaching. Professor stuff. Feeling, you know I could totally snag this. And then realizing. You are fifty almost fifty-one. Your chances are not so good you are not the bell of the ball, Scarlet, you are no longer seventeen. This came as a surprise to me.
I cannot move beyond and do not seem to want to move beyond the look how pretty look at me look how pretty please kiss me, Skipper, tell me I’m pretty tell me I’m pretty, Daddy, tell me again I’m pretty somebody notice how pretty I am if only I could get rid of these glasses if only I could get rid of this face chubby cheeks no bones these thighs womanly squish wiggly rubbing the tops these hips will bear them the sons, really.
I am shortly will be fifty-one and every time I look in the mirror I think what a pretty girl you are what a pretty girl. Smile. Smile. Smile.
I never got the memo that this is not a beauty contest.
As always the writing lifts her up, a bit. As I write that sentence my chest tucks and does its flip. The water yawns wide to suck the bad ones in. And so it goes.
I will see the therapizer at 9:00 and do I ever I sure do need to see her and talk talk talk.
And what will I do about a job? If I can’t stand to teach, what then? How does the fifty almost fifty-one year old girl get a part-time job that doesn’t craze her doesn’t break her heart?
All of this is probably moot and quite useless actually because I cannot give up my hair and I cannot give up fancy stuff I cannot will not so there take that, Jolly, I will fuck you up and your friends too I will drop you like a wet rock the pigs as we all should know ran over the cliff when the Lord did cast Legion into them.