Brain Camp

I went to bed at 8pm last night. Friday night.

And still managed to sleep through three alarms this morning. That were intended to get me coffee. Before an unreasonably early cross country meet.

I spent an hour debating with myself. Yesterday morning.

While playing Solitaire Cash. Because that’s how I self-medicate. When I can’t alcohol.

Over whether or not to take a shower before work.

I finally decided that a shower might put me in a more positive mindset for work.

It didn’t.

But Thursday Ghost told me I looked “comfortable.”

Which was Ghost-speak for “you look like you’ve given up on life.”

Which I haven’t. I haven’t given up on all of life.

I’ve only given up on work life.

Because in the 286 days that we’ve been in school this month. I’ve done my actual jobs for 3.79 hours.

I’ve mostly done every other job that I am absolutely not qualified to do.

And here’s what I’ve learned.

Teachers are saints.

No, I know. We say that all the time.

But y’all.

No. You just don’t even know.

These people are locked in rooms right now. With the same 10-20 children. Some of whom are definitely carrying Covid with them. Alllll fucking day. While trying to teach their own classes. Virtually. And conduct google meetings. With their students. While also maintaining control of the children locked in their room with them. And trying to help them with all of their classes. In all of the subjects. And at some point maybe grading. Without getting an actual planning period to do the grading. Because we’re short staffed. So there’s no one to cover for them.

*sigh*

And I’m going in and giving them short breaks. So they can do things like not urinate on themselves. Or maybe gather some sustenance for their bodies. Or, and I’m just guessing here, not break the fuck down in front of a room full of children.

But in those few short minutes that I’m standing in for them. In those classrooms. I’m losing pieces of my entire mind.

And I love kids. They’re my favorite.

But y’all.

I mean, I get it. The children are also locked in these rooms alllll fucking day. Doing their classes virtually. In person.

I can’t even explain it.

Walked in to give an English teacher a break yesterday. And he was explaining math.

Just…

At the high school level. I feel like these subjects are pretty specialized. And you really need the math teacher. To be teaching math.

And since criminal justice isn’t a course any of our students are taking. I am qualified to teach zero subjects.

It is taking everything I have in me not to yell out, “Stop asking me questions! I don’t know math! I can’t help you! I don’t know what any of this means!”

“And for the love of Jesus stop fucking touching each other during a fucking pandemic!!!! You are why we’re trapped in here right now!”

They’re not.

I mean. Not mostly.

I’m gonna blame the Virginia General Assembly for this one.

Because demanding that schools provide five days a week of in person learning. During a fucking pandemic. Is the most dumbass shit I’ve ever heard.

And I’ve heard a lot of dumbass shit.

And also. When I’m not covering in classrooms. So education heroes can have 3 minutes of semi-peace. I’m helping at the front desk.

Answering phones. Monitoring electronic student passes. Watching emails. Greeting the 5,875 humans that travel into the main office every hour. Asking for the nurse. Or guidance counselor. Or registrar. Or principal.

But mostly the nurse.

Because pandemic.

And…

Fuck…

My brain.

It hurts.

I think it might be bruised?

Or possibly even fractured.

I’m not sure who is in charge of determining the pay rates for office staff.

But they’ve clearly never done the actual work.

Or they’re just fucking morons.

Because that job. All of those jobs.

My god in heaven.

There are no words.

And I’m not even doing this job all day.

NewsAtTin. Who already has the craziest underpaid job in the world. Is filling in for two of the secretaries. At once. And just being all sunny happy chatty about it. And my fractured introvert brain cannot possibly comprehend how…

I filled in for her over lunch. So she could eat. And then also go cover for a third secretary.

Y’all. She was THREE different secretaries. At once. On Thursday.

But I’ve broken my entire brain. From just trying to be one. For an hour.

A parent called yesterday. And after addressing her issue, fairly ineptly, because fractured introvert brain, she told me we were doing a wonderful job. And she appreciates us. And she knows that probably most of the people we talk to are yelling at us. But not to listen to them. Because they’re dumb.

I almost broke down in tears.

Except I don’t have any work tears left. For this year. I used all those up last year.

And also my brain is fractured. So it doesn’t even know how to produce tears anymore.

Anyway. You know in that movie ‘The Other Woman’ when Leslie Mann says she needs brain camp?

I need brain camp.

In the mountains.

Away from computers. And radios. And intercoms. And cell phones. And all forms of responsibility.

And away from Covid. Fucking Covid.

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