So Sundays… a day of rest supposedly, but I don’t reckon I’m well enough behaved the other six days to earn anything so righteous as rest. My typical Sunday includes coffee and catch up TV, pjs and magazines, ironing and house work: I typically manage to put on my face and venture out in the world or at least as far as home to my Mum’s for dinner.
Yesterday I sent an apologetic text post lunchtime explaining that I would come Monday, post dentist, save dinner. I was supposed to be marking.
I resent the work I should do at home. I work my teaching hours each week: often rehearsing through lunch and then beyond those hours that I’m paid for, I rehearse four afternoons a week and go to a meeting on the fifth. I plan theatre trips and face the alpinesque admin punishment of doing so. And this is all part of my job: I accept it, I even enjoy it and on really good days I remember what a privilege it is.
But I hate the feeling that no matter my hours it is never enough. Why should I and other teachers have to work beyond the hours they are not that well paid for? (Especially when my profession seems to have become a private sector punching bag) Why should every evening, weekend and school holiday be spoiled by the spectre of lessons to plan, essays to mark, endless paperwork to complete?
Even the sheer joy of reading is marred because there is always something else you can read…and should you really be reading for pleasure when there are so many of Shakespeare’s plays to study, a canon of literature to peruse?
I’m a procrastinator by nature one of the highest order: a list maker rather than a task taker and it takes it’s toll.
The marking and paperwork are the prices we pay for the pleasures and privileges teaching brings: but I’d made a determined effort from the start of last term to bring less home. Becoming the old maid school teacher who’s life revolves entirely and only around her job is a night terror I rally against.
Sometimes, January mock exam/ report time included, it encroaches on real life because there simply aren’t enough moments in the school day.
And on a Sunday there’s added guilt as I’m being a bad daughter, sister and aunt when I use my marking as a reason to stay home. I didn’t put my face on to meet the world yesterday. The key hung, untouched in my door. I managed little marking last night: my head full of other nonsense, my apartment aching for company and conversation…
I had two sets of exams to administer today: the second of which stretched into the afternoon long after the final bell; and a triple period of A- level Drama that is demanding in more ways than one… But by 4pm today I that good feeling of having achieved something: the quiet glory that comes from a job completed and the value of work.
To the Dentist I went: she is young, really young, I find myself squinting in the surgical light for her degree on the wall. She lacks confidence and while I don’t have an actual dental phobia, I have terrible teeth and I hate going. Her lack of confidence makes me nervous. I want to take her be-gloved, delicate hand and tell her to believe in herself, have faith in your training and your talent…Suck it up Sister, if anyone has the right to be nervous, it’s me!
I went home for dinner: was soothed by a Sunday roast on a Monday night and a desert I should not have eaten: and by my Mum’s company and listening ear.
I’ve spent too long writing this and marking seems unlikely tonight too… Maybe I should re-brand: Carrie O’Hara how to procrastinate in 365 meandering steps…