First of all, I guess I never really TRULY realized what a physically demanding job it is to be an art teacher! I'm on my feet a LOT. I crawl on the floor. I lean over and use muscles while working on the pottery wheel, or just helping others to use it. I climb on tables. I climb under tables. I climb ladders and step stools to put up displays and bulletin boards and fill the display cases. I haul 50 pound boxes of clay. I lug around gallons of paint from table to counter, sink to overhead shelves... I pour and clean out large buckets of water and clay sludge. I lean over the kiln, loading and unloading - as my feet dangle over the edge!
...But not now. Even bending down to pick up a single piece of stray newspaper garbage or dropped pencil is a huge painful chore! I am feeling utterly useless in this room on a daily basis. The worst part is my sudden severe onset of carpal tunnel in my right hand (uh, yeah, I'm right handed). I can hold a pencil for about 10-15 minutes before the grip becomes so painful and tingly that I have to stop.
I'm an art teacher!!! I want to draw with my students!!! I have to grade papers!!!
This kind of stinks.
Ok, done whining. I know I'll forget it all when I look into my gorgeous little baby boy's face in late January (when I'm due). I hope that whoever takes over for me in the meantime does the art program justice and keeps my room in relatively organized shape so that when I come back it's not "too" bad...
In the meantime, students ask me all kinds of questions about the baby:
- Will I come and visit? - Yes, sure I will.
- Do I know if it's a boy or girl? - Yes, it's a boy.
- What am I going to name him? - It's a secret.
- If I guess the name, will you tell me? - No.
- Is it going to be a weird name? - I hope not.
- You should name him ______ (fill in the blank with your name here). - Um, thanks. I'll keep that in mind.
- Is he going to be an artist like you and Mr. Leban? - Well, I sure hope so, but he's entitled to his own interests and free will...
Earlier this week, Lauren, an 8th grader, decided to submit to me her list of baby name ideas:
I like that she thought I might name the baby Jean Baptiste or Guillome, especially seeing as neither Mr. Leban or I are French - but perhaps we might like those anyways? How culturally open-minded of her! I also enjoyed her suggestions for alternate spellings.
Things like this make coming to school and waddling down the hallways not so bad. My students are awesome.