Things just got better, I think. As I was driving home from school on Friday (at 6:45 pm, mind you), I had a lucid realization that things had gotten better. I was reminded of this quote from the Screwtape Letters:
It always was like this. All horrors have followed the same course, getting worse and worse and forcing you into a kind of bottle-neck till, at the very moment you thought you must be crushed, behold! you were out of the narrows and all was suddenly well.
Granted, this is referring to the process of death, and first-year teaching isn’t exactly like death, but I can relate to this sort of bottleneck experience. And any chance to mention C.S. Lewis is good for me :). The last few weeks have been difficult — not more than usual, but just I’m-a-first-year-teacher difficult — and this last week, things started to get noticeably better. After my hard class on Friday, I thought to myself I think they actually learned something today!
I’m hesitant to get too excited, because I know I’ll still have difficult days and weeks ahead, but I am beginning to realize that I actually enjoy teaching. If I have a bad class, it doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it used to, and I’m generally in a better mood. I think that means that things are getting better.
The South is still really intense, and the culture is just so very different than what I’m used to. There are little things every day that rub this yankee/hippie the wrong way, and I have to stop and at least try to keep my mind open.
Even if things weren’t getting better, it would still be okay, because 2 weeks from today I will be HOME for Thanksgiving!