I haven't blogged in a long time. I have plenty to say, but lack of time/energy for the most part. But right now I'm stuck at home, isolating, and there's been another slaughter at an elementary school, and I have some stuff to get off my chest. Strap in, this one's a doozy.
So, Yeah. I Have COVID.
After two years of avoiding it, I tested positive on Thursday (today is Wednesday) last week and as of yesterday, was still testing positive. I basically had a sinus infection from hell, and I'm glad to say that a few days of Prednisone has that going away, though I'm still a little snotty. Fortunately, I have not once had a fever or any shortness of breath. My only cough was moving phlegm around (exactly as charming as that sounds). I did some weight lifting yesterday and went for a walk today, and though it tired me, I had no breathing difficulties.
I'm going out of my bloody mind, here.
Okay, that's melodramatic. But being forced to stay home has been stupid on so many levels. Fortunately, there's eCart at the local Bel-Air, so I've been fine as far as groceries are concerned. But I'm missing the last week of school, which I hate. And that leads to my next section...
Anxiety Is An Asshole
I feel guilty for missing work. I am letting my kids down. I shouldn't go to England next week (when I should be testing negative) after missing several days of school. I should have been more careful about getting COVID. I, I, I, Me, Me, Me.
Do you see the problem, here? Yes, everyone does. Even I do, but while my rational brain is like, "CALM DOWN, WOMAN," my anxiety just laughs maniacally and keeps aiming all these darts at me.
The worst was yesterday, when I called Dad in tears, just sick of still testing positive, sick of missing my last week of school with the kids, hating that all the things I had planned, like having my after school choir sing at the end-of-year-assembly, will have to go by the wayside.
Dad is good at helping me sort all the tangled threads out. And here's the thing: my bosses, even, are like, "Yes, this stinks, but it can't be helped. It's not your fault!!" But I still feel guilty.
And selfishly, I'm really scared about having to postpone my England trip--AGAIN--even though I know I've earned this. I really have! I deserve to go, and have fun! And I'm sure I will--as long as I have a negative test before I go. But what if I don't??
All of this, and having COVID/lingering sinus sludge, makes me tired. So I took a nap yesterday. And that leads to my next rant.
Just before I put my phone down for said nap, there was an item on Twitter about a gunman outside an elementary school in Texas. Details were scarce but the school was "on lockdown" and the gunman was "outside."
I woke up a couple hours later to "14 Children Dead at Texas School."
And Greg Abbott giving his "thoughts and prayers," all while still planning to speak at an NRA convention this weekend. We all know where his money comes from.
The number of murdered children is now up to 19, along with two teachers. Families are ripped apart, children are identifiable only by DNA samples because their little bodies were ripped apart by bullets, and the best some politicians (I refuse to call them leaders) can give us is "thoughts and prayers."
I'm even calling out the Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is saying, "We'll leave this 'til elections in November..." and I just want to scream.
Except I still have leftover phlegm in my throat. Screaming is not an option.
Speaking of Teachers
I saw it pointed out on Twitter this morning that so many politicians are fawning all over themselves to thank the first responders who came to the scene of the murder yesterday. And yes, thank you, first responders, for traipsing through the absolute horror show that awaited you. I could not do it, and I commend you for sorting it all out, because it cannot be easy to bear.
But no thanks to the LEOs who didn't stop the murderer from getting inside the building. Yeah, yeah, he was wearing body armor, but they just gave up trying to get him.
One guy later took a bullet bringing him down, and I admire that, but you know who also took bullets? Two teachers. I don't see the politicians thanking them.
Not to mention the teachers who survived, but had to put their own trauma aside to comfort terrified children, escort them from the building, and then help them reunite with their families. A scene of carnage, chaos, and utter fear, and those teachers kept their shit together and did their jobs, putting aside their own feelings and needs to be everything their students needed.
Heroes, every last one of them. And no one is thanking them.
Hell, they'll probably get pay cuts. If they can even bring themselves to go back to teaching.
As For Teaching...
If you follow the news at all, you know that this country is facing a major shortage of teachers. People are leaving in droves because of lack of pay, lack of respect, lack of resources. All of the above. It is bad out there.
I am lucky. I am very well-compensated where I work, and I am very, very, well-supported. I have the usual complaints about "kids today..." but while my kiddos have their moments where I want to pull my hair out, 98% of the time they're actually really great. Easy? Never! But they're eleven. It's a weird time of life in a weird time in U.S. History.
Most days, I leave at the end of the day exhausted, but in a good way. I'm on my feet a lot, and teaching takes a lot of energy--you have to think fast, be ready for your lesson plan to go in an unforeseen direction, be ready for distractions.
I took on 6th grade English Language Arts this year (a first for me, a credential I've held for years but never used), and it has been a challenge, but honestly? A really fun challenge. I've had 6th grade for both ELA and Music every day, so I've had an opportunity to build more meaningful relationships with both of my classes...and to learn that I really, really, enjoy this age group. They're sweet, silly, and they're at a time in life when having some strict, a little bit of silly, and heaps of understanding from their teachers. They need fewer consequences, and more guidance.
So I'm lucky. I have no intention of leaving, even though I would never call my job easy--especially these last two years.
So Here I Am
Day five of staying home from work (the last one covered by COVID leave, if I'm home tomorrow, it's from my own sick leave, but that's okay, I have oodles). I haven't tested yet today, but pretty sure it will still be positive. We'll see, I guess.
Writing has helped a bit. At least it's not sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself.