I made it through my first year as a high school teacher. I don't know how, and I don't know why, but somehow I made it.
I expected to cry as soon as I walked out of my classroom--just break down and sob uncontrollably. Not because it was over, but because it was done.
But I didn't cry. I just got in my car and drove home with my eyes closed. When you're a high school teacher you get used to doing things with your eyes closed, including grading papers, preparing lectures, and applying make-up. The only thing high school teachers don't do with their eyes closed is sleep.
While driving home with my eyes closed, I didn't know how to feel. Was I happy? Sad? Empty? I decided I felt stretched out, like a pair of maternity pants after you've finally given birth. I also felt like there was a hole in my soul, and I needed to fill it with something. But what?
Chicken soup, maybe?
No, Korean Bulgolgi for the soul.
In other words I needed to watch a Baz Luhrmann film, or listen to Radio Head, or read Pablo Neruda poetry.
I ended up eating a cupcake instead. (Actually I boiled cabbage, but whatev.) Then I wandered around my house, aimlessly, until I finally sat down and fell asleep. I slept long and hard--the kind of sleep that makes you realize you haven't truly slept in nine months, since you became pregnant with 95 juniors and seniors. It was the kind of sleep where even in your dreams your eyes are closed.
When I woke up I cleaned my bathrooms. Then I changed my banking username from Iwillcleanmybathroomsin2013 to Iwilltakedownmychristmasvillagein2013.
Then I took down my Christmas village.
At graduation I didn't feel like a proud parent the way I thought I would. I felt more like a mom who one day gives birth to 95 children, and then the next day sends half of them off to college.
But what is that commandment again? Thou shalt not complain about thy class half empty when thy class is still half full? I have much to be thankful for. I have developed both professionally and personally over the past 9 months.
I have also developed a twitch and irritable bowel, but who's counting.
So now that school is out, my brain is all the way full again. In other words I'm operating with my whole brain again, and I have turned that whole brain towards updating my dream house. That kind of brain power entails a lot of paint, and a Lowe's Rewards card.
Oh, and some Gorilla Super Glue gel.
If I can teach you anything about home improvement it is this: DON'T EVER use Super Glue gel to attach your address to your dream house. Glue gel is unpredictable, and it bears testimony to the truthfulness of the song, "Stuck on You."
It's too bad I didn't have any glue gel on hand when my father-in-law's teeth fell out.
One thing about super glue gel is you have to shake it. Really, really hard. And sometimes it comes out and sometimes it doesn't. But when it does come out, it comes out in globs. And sometimes it splatters, and you have no idea where it has landed, until you answer your cell phone and realize it has become a permanent fixture of your face.
Also, I think I figured out how face lifts were invented. I got a glob on my eyelid and wow, I looked an awful lot like Zsa Zsa Gabor.
After attaching the first number of my address to my dream house, I realized that I should have worn gloves and used a toothpick instead of Q-tip for application, as toothpicks wouldn't be as visible from the road. I had to take a 24-hour break in between numbers so I could Google ways to remove Super Glue gel from one's fingertips. Unfortunately, there is no way to remove super glue gel from one's fingertips without actually removing one's fingertips. I found this direct quote from a credible source on LDS.org:
"Super glue gel has the power and authority to seal your fingertips together for time and all eternity. By epoxy."
My class may be half empty, but at least I know my fingertips will be together forever.