Posted in This is real life.

Walking the Balance Beam

I haven’t posted in a while, I know. Blame grad school – not my crazy job, not writer’s block, not anything except all the classes that have me completely swamped online.

In any case, I feel like I’ve been teetering on one side or another of a balance beam lately. Not a tightrope, mind you, I could never even stand on one of those. And not the Olympic balance beam, either. We’re talking one of those barely-off-the-floor kinds you find in kiddie gyms. Or the one this dog is about to fall off of.

That’s my kind of balance beam.

Either way, today, for some reason, everything balanced out.

Seriously, everything. And I wanted to take five seconds to just appreciate it.

This morning, I realized that the healthy debate I was planning on having at work was too little too late and I was stuck with what someone else had decided. I immediately dreaded having to tell the person who recommended my course of action what happened. Later this afternoon, said person emailed me, thanking me for my input and letting me know that even if I couldn’t sway the group, she would help me figure out how to help my kids. All before I had a chance to tell her.

Then, I had my first day teaching my extra tutoring group, which was a beating, but on the way out, one of the kids told me that now he understood what it meant when his thesis “wasn’t supported.” (Baby steps, y’all.)

Second period, I had to write up a kid who JUST came back from … not here … because he was losing it in class, but by the end, he’d come back, apologized, acted out again, checked himself, and had a long talk with me about his struggles. By the time he left, he told me that we probably wouldn’t be friends, and that he’d probably end up in the office from my room again soon. 

Not the outcome we look for after that much work. 

Thankfully, the very next class period, I found a note on my desk from a student that made me literally cry in between class periods. I’m tearing up right now just thinking about it. The kid wasn’t one I put a lot of work into, but according to the note, I’m a teacher who kids can trust just because I’m honest and genuine with them. 

Balance, right there.

I made a list of possible projects that I have no idea whether or not will be acceptable for my grad project last year and then also a list of back-up professors to have on my grad committee. Then, as I went in to draft an email to basically “propose” to these professors, I opened an email from my fave prof that started “Thanks for helping me cry today,” in reference to the rather hearten-my-sleeve paper I submitted and ended with him asking for which font I would recommend he print his favorite line out in to hang up in his office.

Finally, I realized that I had unfortunately booked my massage at a time that ended in the height of rush hour. Then I decided that instead of sitting in the stand-still traffic for an hour, I’d head up toward Plano and get to listen to a little “librarian” read me a story about puppies.

It almost makes me feel like I’m ready for the grown up version.




We seek to learn, and when academics do not present the answers, we look inside our own beautiful imaginations for the key.

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