All Of This

Sometimes there are days at work that I feel like I am in the center of a whirlpool.
Students, paint, brushes, dirty water cups, pastels, paper, scissors, markers, lost lunch boxes, tears, arguing, tattling, smiles, hugs, spills, plaster, paperwork, emails, phone calls, passes to the nurse’s office, referrals, phone calls to parents, pulling pedals out of bike spokes, making kids spit out gum, rulers, erasers, pencil sharpeners, teasing, bullying, confiscating cell phones, back talk, disrespect, swearing, hand holding, snot, pencil shavings, lies, laughter, stick figures, glue, glue globs, glue spills, aprons, messes, no paper towels, stinky sponges, call the office the faucet has exploded, fights, out of staples, grading, color wheel, “Ms. H. you’re the best.”, meetings, lose my keys, find my keys, lose my keys again, special ed, constant noise, “Ms. H. is a bitch”, crayons, administration visit, complaining, pictures of hearts, pictures of elephants, pictures of kitty cats with bow ties, and the smell of tempera paint.
All of this spinning as I try to keep my head above sea level. All of this, as one person tries to conduct and motivate a group of young people into doing something creative, expressive, educational, and fun. All of this as it is me and 30 to 35 of them. All of this as I am sick with a nasty cold. All of this in less then 40 minutes. All of this without a break, barely a lunch, and “holding” the two cups of peppermint tea I drank that morning. All of this knowing that next week I will be delivered a pink slip. All of this knowing that they voted against having art, music, and pe in the schools next year. All of this with rarely a thank you.
The music teacher and I put on a huge event tonight, It’s main purpose was to highlight art, music, and pe.
You see, the community voted against having art, music, and pe in the schools next year. And now, because of some loophole, the voters will have one more chance to pass it in March. So there is tons of pressure to DO MORE to get the word out.
And that is what I’ve been doing. More, more, more.
How can they expect us to do so much more, when what I already do sometimes feels like way too much? How can they expect anyone to do this job and more for less pay next year? How can they ask so much of our teachers—and care so little about our youth?
But tonight, right before we opened the doors to begin the event, a double rainbow shined directly over the school….and from that second parents, and grandparents, cousins, and step mothers and fathers, joined their students to gather in the art room for some drawing fun. I was so surprised…so absolutely pleasantly surprised by the ENORMOUS amount of people that showed up.
Now I was caught in a whirlpool of giggles, hugs, big belly laughter, grandparents taking pictures, little girls acting shy, parents telling me stories of their children wanting to be an artist when they grow up, and thank you after thank you.
Thank you after thank you can be a powerful antibiotic. Thank you after thank you can be the rope you hold onto to pull yourself out of the whirlpool. Thank you after thank you can be the whole reason one does more.
Without trying to be cheesey or trite, I now understand the rainbow connection and want to keep on singing.
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