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Good and Tired

posted Sep 7, 2010, 12:17 PM by Dan Dunbar   [ updated Sep 7, 2010, 1:01 PM ]
It is a little after three o'clock in the afternoon and I am covering the front desk while Mr. McFarland and Mrs. Lynch deal with other details of school and personal life and Mrs. Lange cooks up a spaghetti dinner. I am glad for the opportunity to sit for a while and rest, because I am TIRED! 

The first day of school, no matter how long it is - half-day or full-day - is exhausting. As tired as I was last night when I slid between the sheets of my bed, it was difficult to fall asleep. I rolled over. And over. And over again, as thoughts of various students, families, and details of the first day floated up to the surface of my consciousness despite my best efforts to push them down into the murky depths of my mind so that I could sleep. Somewhere in the night, I dozed off.

I had an incredibly vivid dream of being in a classroom witnessing a lesson, something very amazing was going on and I was looking forward with great anticipation to what the teacher was about to do - And then the alarm went off. I was dragged away from this marvelous, breakthrough moment by the flashing light of my moonbeam alarm clock. I opened my eyes to see that it was 5:40 a.m. and dark out. It was truly the beginning of another school year.

The first day of school is a momentous one, even for teachers and principals who have already been back to school for two weeks of preparation and training. Thoughts raced through my mind from the moment I set my feet on the floor to the moment I drove into the parking lot at school: 

    What will I wear on the first day? The new shirt I bought this summer? Do I have a tie to go with that shirt? I should have thought of that last night. And where are those shoes I bought for school? 
    Look at my hair - I knew I should have gone to see my sister-in-law for a haircut! 
    I hope the traffic isn't as bad as it has been. I need to get in early enough for all the teachers who want to get in early and put the finishing touches on their preparations. 
    Should I stop and buy the teachers bagels? No, we are all too nervous to eat this morning. 
    Should I have brought a change of clothes for the spaghetti dinner so that I don't ruin this new shirt with red sauce? Maybe I have my rain jacket at school and I can cover up with that! Nah. That's just stupid. 
    Oh, Lord my God. Bless this day. Bless every student, every teacher, every family this morning as they make their way to school. Help us all get through this first day...

There were probably some crazier and some more mundane thoughts going through my mind, but these are the ones I recall. All the nervous energy, all the adrenaline flowing through my body all morning long as I wondered how each class was getting along. I ended up making a bunch of photocopies around 10:30 a.m. to help pass the time (and to do something that I needed to get done eventually). The mindless chore of copying page after page, organizing those pages into a packet to be copied, setting the stapler function to attach the pages with one staple in the upper left-hand corner, and then filing the finished packets in the teachers' mailboxes helped take my mind off my concerned hopes for a great time of connections between teachers and students. Still, the mental and emotional energy took their toll this morning, and now I feel tired, like I walked from Baltimore to Bel Air and back again. My legs feel sore, for some reason. Maybe from hauling all that junk out of the high school, up the stairs, and across the parking lot to the dumpster. That did leave me feeling hot and sweaty.

I am hoping that the spaghetti and fellowship will rejuvenate me tonight. Usually food and edification have that effect upon me. I think I will be sleeping easier tonight. The first day of school will be under my belt for another year, and I will happily hang up my tie for the evening and perhaps read another chapter in my current novel before toddling off to Dreamland. 

God sure is good. That's my simple conclusion to a lot of things in this life. He loves me and He is so, so good.