Personal Day

Today I took a personal day. I’ve never done that, in all my years of teaching. I have to be strong-armed into taking a sick day. But after a particularly challenging week a while ago, I acted on impulse and requested to use a personal day.

The original plan was to go to Sephora, see a movie, maybe get a massage, and just relax.

Then I didn’t do a whole lot of work over the weekend. So the personal day plan turned into going to Sephora and grading.

I let myself sleep in, went to Sephora, had lunch, then gathered my supplies and headed to a local coffeeshop to grade.

I was about halfway through the first stack of papers, when a storm of activity rumbled in the shop. A young girl, about 10 years old, walked by with a portable DVD player, blaring Dora the Explorer. It didn’t bother me too much, until a Pixies song came on, and Dora’s shrieking distracted me from both the song and the grading. But I persevered. About 10 minutes later, the young girl’s mother walked by with a netbook, screaming at the screen. She wasn’t angry-screaming–she was having a conversation via Skype or some other internet video chat service.

This made it nearly impossible to focus on grading, and I took it as a sign: my original plan was to spend my personal day relaxing and catching up on life outside of school. So that’s what I did. I packed up and went home.

The whole day was a little difficult; I’d look at the time and feel a twinge of guilt that I wasn’t teaching whatever class I should have been teaching. But my hope is that taking a day for me will get me through the last five weeks of school.

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