In a dazed state, I hear that wretched noise. That piercing annoyance on my bedside stand. It’s the worst time of day - morning. I stumble out of bed to the shower. The routine begins - shower, contacts, teeth, clothes. Between these blur of events, I somehow throw together a lunch. By 6:40, Doug and I are ready to roll. Our journey even farther south begins. By 6:55, we pass Arcola. By 7:05, we’re cruising down Washington Avenue towards Simmons. At 7:10, my second routine begins. I fill my boards with objectives, agendas, and bellringers. It’s 7:30. I hear the roar coming down the hallway. I have the privilege of starting my day with freshman, and they’re the first students dismissed from the gym. I had a friend highlight a similarity between the arrival of my freshman and one of the top grossing movies of all time - Jurassic Park. When the glass of water trembles, you know the T-Rex is coming. The freshmen are my T-Rex. After a chaotic twelve minutes, the bell to start homeroom sounds (sometimes). I quickly turn on CNN Student News, the perfect ten minute clip highlighting the world’s biggest events to subdue the students from their hyena like behavior. Finally, the the 7:52 bell rings, and first period starts. It’s show time.
I’m convinced that time changes during school. First, second, third, and fourth period become this blur of bellringers, assignments, and consequences. It doesn’t help that I go from English to Latin to Spanish to Theatre. It almost feels like a revolving door; as quickly as students come, they also go. After second period, I frantically try to gather my things to change classrooms for Spanish. When third period ends, I do the same thing, trying to beat my students to my own classroom. When fourth period ends, I can finally breathe. Fifth period - my “planning” time. It’s a true gift from the heavens because fifth period is the lunch period. I am grateful every day that I don’t have to herd students to the cafeteria. Of course, fifth period passes quickly. Before I know, it I’m jumping off the waterfall again, and I’m not going to land until 3:48.
Sixth, seventh, and eighth period are just a repeat of the morning. English, Latin, Theatre. Because of fifth period planning, I have the luxury of fixing anything that didn’t go so well from the morning lessons. The latter half of the day is more difficult. The students are less willing to cooperate, and they are definitely not as attentive. That 3:48 bell is about the best thing that happens. It’s like winning the lottery on a daily basis. Consistently euphoric. By 4:15, my room is back in order, the boards are clean, and Doug and I are in the office ready to swipe our cards. By 4:45 we’re home, and the best part of the day begins - just a little later than I would like it though.