first meltdown of the semester: check

classes started last wednesday (which for me, meant one day of class last week and then a four-day weekend, since i only have class monday through wednesday).

yesterday was the first meeting of one of my how-to-be-a-teacher-in-general classes, and after class, the girls from my program were asked to stick around for a quick meeting.

we were then told that, in addition to the 40 hours we need to get in a classroom for one placement, we have 40 more hours to knock out in another classroom placement.

this is the placement that we all emailed a professor about, that we wanted to know expectations for, and that we were worried about. the professor firmly avoided telling us anything – including the part where we’d be in a school for three hours a week. as in, need time during the day (between 8 am and 2 pm) to drive however far to get to whatever school.

i’m looking forward to this placement – working with an english language learner or two – but i really hate surprises. happy surprises, stressful surprises, they’re all the same – out of my control and therefore NOT my thing. my reaction was to get home, snarl at a roommate (dude, i am so sorry for that. i still feel bad), lock myself in my room and clean while crying and listening to the dixie chicks. it was a low point. i mentioned it to my dad via email, who called later (this led to me rushing out of the living room in tears, because a dad voice can sometimes be so freaking caring that i lose it all over again). a friend, K, had the same pissed-off, freaked-out, overwhelmed reaction, and we spent the night venting via email before going to youtube for a hit of kitten videos. then i couldn’t stop giggling.

a good night’s sleep helped a lot. knowing that i can in fact survive this helps too. and it hit me in yoga today: nothing is too much. things are exactly as much as they are. too much is defined by the person dealing with the situation. and i can handle this. it is a lot. but teaching won’t be easy. student teaching won’t be easy, for sure. the other thing that hit me, while staring at my big toe during a particularly agonizing/heavenly stretch, was that i need to refresh my pedicure. and that i need to remember to focus on myself this semester. tuesdays might be 13-hour days starting next week, but i have to carve out time for myself. so i’ve penciled in two gym classes a week (and i paid for them, which means i will go to them). two other days in the week i’ll go to the gym for a regular workout. i’ll make food for myself. i’ll watch cheesy movies. drink red wine. remember that i am sane. if i don’t, i’m pretty sure i’ll lose it.

what do you do to stave off a meltdown?

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