Half-full or half-empty, is there really a difference?

October 7, 2010

I am a procrastinator. I don’t deny it, nor do I wear the label proudly, it just is what it is: the truth. As I’m typing this, I am literally surrounded by a growing mountain of paperwork that I just can’t get myself to do. Maybe it’s because I’m off cycle for observation this year which feels like I have a get out of jail free pass in my back pocket, or maybe it’s because I’m still feeling the repercussions of my unfairly shortened summer vaca. I’m convinced this is the only school district on Earth that starts one week into August. Most likely, though, it’s because I’m pregnant and I’m trying to conserve my depleted energy stores for my one year old angel waiting for me at home.

Being a procrastinator doesn’t bother me, really. I find it sort of thrilling when I finally to meet my deadlines on-time, and I find it entirely satisfying that I didn’t waste all that time working while I should have been. In other words, I don’t consider it to be a character flaw. However, my other blossoming trait of being cynical has been slowly starting to bug me. Early in my career I had high hopes of being the next Michelle Pfeiffer or Hillary Swank to my underprivileged students. I was going to inspire them to be the best they could be, to make something of themselves, and in turn, they were going to appreciate me for my wisdom and kindness. I quickly learned that Hollywood, like politicians, is painfully out of touch. Kids don’t shut up and listen when you say something profound, and the bell doesn’t magically save you from a drowning lesson plan. Kids fail, drop out, reproduce too soon, and find the consequences of smoking marijuana far more rewarding than doing their homework. I don’t mean to sound like a defeatist; I’m just trying to be realistic. But, it does dishearten me to look back at my former self, the smart, optimistic, ready to change the world young woman, and realize that in many ways she has given up. It’s depressing. I entered a career thinking the lack of pay would be more than made up for with the fulfillment of helping others only to realize that the only thing worthwhile about my career is the 8 week hiatus during the summer. My growing concern for this dampening of my spirits was lightened the other day while I devoured my Dove chocolate over lunch break. The foil message read, “A pessimist is really an optimist with experience.” So there! I’m really not a negative person, I’m just experienced.


3 Responses to “Half-full or half-empty, is there really a difference?”

  1. Krystal Says:

    How true, how true. This week I had a 16 year old student wear a shirt into my second period class that was totally against dress code and I made her change out of, but it gave me such a snicker. It said, “Who cares if the glass is half empty or half full, I just want to know who the hell has been drinking my beer!”


    • svanyo Says:

      Love it! Reminds me of the “I love boobs!” bracelets everyone is wearing. The first time I saw one, I put on my best grown-up suthoritative voice and repremanded a sophomore boy for wearing it. (But in my head I’m laughing – it’s such a funny word, boobs. How fitting for a teenage boy. And can you blame him? It’s for breast cancer awareness!)


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