Monday, November 30, 2009

The Post-Holiday 'Blahs'

Its always facinating to me how we work and work and tell ourselves "Everything will be fine if I can just make it to the holiday break"...and it feels completely true until after the holiday is over and we know that its time to go back to work.  Then we get the 'blahs'.  Its like Sunday night depression, only worse because you've had even more time off and you want even more. You go to bed knowing that the next day is not a holiday, but a dreaded work day, and you force yourself to go to bed earlier after being on a much more erratic sleep schedule so that you can get back into the weekday routine.  Oh, and after Thanksgiving and Christmas...you certainly have to get used to eating normal portions again.  There's nothing quite like stretching one's stomach muscles to capacity in just one day...and having to then drastically cut back on what the stomach has begun to consider the norm.  I wonder what the stomach would say about that if it could speak.  I imagine it would sound like a put-upon secretary or wife and it's chief nag would be "Make up your mind!  I can't be both huge and tiny!  I just need nourishment!"  I'm actually rather glad my stomach cannot speak.  I don't need a noisy little reminder that I eat too much and I need to diet.  The physical reminders are horrendous enough.  Also, I'd really hate to hear what it would say on the matter of bowel movements and flatulence...scary.

So yes, its back to work today and in order to ease the transition from holiday to work the district has been kind enough to make today an inservice day in order to allow us to learn to be better teachers and to give us an extra day without the students.  Even though we have to be up early and at work, I actually really like inservice days.  Dress is casual, we're working in different classes, and the day really seems to zip on by.  Then again, I've only done two of these days so far.  Right now I'm in the 21st Century Skills course, the same class where this blog experienced its genesis (yay!) and the instructors are trying to get all the staff logged in and on track.  I've been logged in and I'm waiting for instruction while they work the bugs out.  My generation has an unfair advantage over some of these older teachers who don't 'get' computer and internet technology as well.  I experience both sympathy and puzzlement at this.  Sympathy for their confusion, because no one likes being confused and at the mercy of the computer, and puzzlement because to me this stuff seems so simple.  I guess part of the confusion comes from the quality instruction.  Montgomery, who is co-teaching this course, explains the course in the 'gee isn't this easy?' style and then when everyone is sent off to do the stuff on their own...they have no concept of how or why.  They get confused because they don't know what passwords to use or usernames to do...they get insecure that they aren't doing it perfect (when there is, in fact, no perfect way to do this).  Its a generational gap that only gets wider.  I'm sure Montgomery and I would love to toss a rope across the chasm to help the older generation over...but I think the rope will never be long enough.  Oh well, I'm sure someone in their 20s will be patronizing me on account of technology when I get older.  I dread the day I have to ask someone for help with this stuff...it'll feel worse than going gray or using a walker.

Speaking of getting older, can I give some props to the movie Up?  I mean really, I love how this movie used the concept of aging and life goals going stale to create it's funny and exciting story.  I know that everyone has said just about everything about it...I mean when does anyone not rave (or at least gently praise) about a Pixar movie?  But really, those first 10 minutes are some of the best ever put to celluloid as they show the falling in love, aging, and end to Carl and Ellie Frederickson's relationship using almost no words at all.  Its not often that a movie makes me want to cry that soon, but Up accomplished it.  Its been fun to watch the maturing of Pixar as storytellers from the feel-good comedy of Toy Story and A Bug's Life to the more tear-jerking Wall-E and Up...I suppose the only thing about the studio that worries me is the eventuality that the wave of success they're riding will eventually falter and those hungry negative critics out there will be more than happy to leap on the studio like vultures on a wounded gazelle.  However, right now Pixar is the golden child of the animation world and we should celebrate their triumphs.  For those of you who have not seen Up, I would not dream of doing you the disservice of ruining the story with a synopsis.  You simply must take the time to see it.  I hope it will touch you the same way that it touched the hearts of so many already.

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