First Day of “Summer Break” 2017

The Waiting Room.

What do teachers do on their first day of summer break?  Well, this teacher goes to the doctor.  I’m not sick or anything, it’s just my annual check-up.  I would never take a day off from school to go to the doctor unless I were truly sick, or unless one of my kids were sick.  As I sit in the lobby, waiting to be called back for blood work, my lack of caffeine headache kicks into high gear and my stomach calls out, “Why haven’t you fed me yet?  I am used to the oatmeal hitting around 5:30 and now it’s 8:30!” It doesn’t take long for full-blown irritation to start invading my psyche.

To avoid becoming some sort of demonic creature, I begin to think about what my fellow teachers are doing right now.  One is facing the summer after losing her 15 year old to an automobile accident less than a week ago.  Another is rehearsing piano for her young cousin’s funeral she will play in this weekend.  Another is preparing for tomorrow’s biopsy and treatment discussion after doctors found something suspicious last week in a chest X-ray.   Yet another had a severe bout of vertigo a few weeks ago and, luckily, came through on the other side.  This is the short list and does not include the teachers and mentors I have lost this year.

To say that this mind shift completely changed my outlook would be a gross understatement.  Too often we get sucked into our own problems and fail to see the big picture.  As I finish out my day by making brownies for my AP Calculus colleagues and pack for the pre-reading, for which I leave tomorrow, I will savor every moment of folding clothes and washing dishes and be thankful for my summer break where I visit the doctor for a wellness check-up, attend the AP Calculus reading with my math people, and head off to New Hampshire to reconnect with the place that lit the teaching fire inside of me 30 years ago.  

It doesn’t hurt to run into your former AP Calculus Star Student now Nurse Practitioner at the doctor’s office!