Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Shut-Up and Enjoy Your Vacation! by Jasper

Without question, the greatest benefit to being an Administrative Liaison (teacher mentor & student mentor), is having extended vacations. Our district enjoys about 2 ½ months in the summer, a week at Thanksgiving, two weeks for Christmas/Winter break and one week for Spring Break. Plus, there are a few holidays interspersed throughout the year. Substantial time off certainly helps endure the sometimes long hours, if the meager pay does not. Though I’m only paid for 7.90 hours, I still manage to put in 10.25 hours daily. For mentoring, optimal time for teachers and students is obviously after school. I’m sure I could avoid the extended hours, if I knew the root cause. Either I’m a dedicated workaholic or I haven’t a clue how to manage my time. I don’t that knowing the answer would really help me.

As soon as I got home on Friday, in front of Wife and Daughter, I declared myself to be in VACATION MODE! Vacation Jasper had arrived! Yet, I can find neither satisfaction nor solace in the fact that I don’t have to go to that damn school for two weeks. Despite the need and the desire for a relief from the job, I can’t seem to find a way to enjoy my vacation. That feeling of dread, knowing that I have to go back to work on January 5th, has saturated my soul.

In an effort to overcome that sensation, I have tried to stay occupied. On Saturday, we attended a toddler birthday party. It was cute to watch the kids run around and enjoy themselves. I kind of wish I was that age again. Life was so simple then. While it was supposed to be fun living vicariously through the lives of 2 and 3 year olds, that wasn’t the only reason that I hung around the kids. I loathe socializing with acquaintances and strangers. I played with the children to escape awkward situations. Sydney noticed that I had removed myself from interaction with adults. When I began to point out my lack of personality, she glared at me, pulled me to her side and whispered in my ear, “Shut-up about your lack of social graces and enjoy the party. Remember, you’re supposed to be in VACATION MODE. No worries allowed!” I sighed, but did as I was told. Immediately, I set out to have a good time. I did! I had three beers, six slices of pizza, two pieces of cake and three scoops of ice cream. And, I discovered that the other dads all play fantasy football. Good times!

Speaking of fantasy football… My season ended yesterday. In one league, I finished in 5th place again. It seems that I can’t ever get out of the consolation round. In my primary league, I lost in the playoffs and I’m not happy about it. Thanks to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for allowing their Defense to take the day off. I guess the organization doesn’t really want to the go to the playoffs and decided to let San Diego score at will. The likely winner of this fantasy league is going to be the commissioner who has been operating suspiciously for the last few years. I’ve already decided that I have had enough of his shenanigans, but I was really hoping to beat him and show him that cheaters never win. Oh well. I haven’t decided yet if I intend to dwell on my performance and analyze every bad decision, or if I can now use the three hours of day I spent studying every aspect of the NFL for other purposes. I should shut-up about fantasy football. It might deter readers if I act like a complete football geek. Perhaps I could use my newly found free time to write for the blog or do chores.

Aw man. I said the bad word. Chores. It seems the bane of my existence is chores. Whenever I have time off from work, I seem to make a ridiculous list of tasks to complete. Inevitably, Sydney will add to that list. That task list also seems to magically grow, with each passing day of vacation. As a result, I’m sent into a frantic state of ADD. I start planning when each job will be completed and how long it will take. My days become chore oriented. When I wake up, I start thinking about what I have to do. But then I think about what I would rather be doing. Then I think about a different chore to do. I may start a chore and then go start another. In the middle of that chore, I go back to the previous chore. Sometimes, I’ll realize that I have to go run errands (Christmas shopping, bank, etc.), so I stop the jobs. While I’m out, I start focusing on the things I’m supposed to be doing. My mind is spinning out of the control! What I really want to do is sit on my ass and play COD4 with my buddies! But I know have to do the tasks or Sydney will be displeased! Or, I’ll start bitching about all the things I have to do but didn’t do, because I didn’t get to it or didn’t want to do it! And then nothing gets done and I start all over with list! Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

I can hear Sydney’s stern yet soothing voice now, “Shut-up! Shut-up! Shut-up! Do a few chores at a time. Don’t try to do it all at once. If you’re that worried about all the things you need to do, try doing something productive after the sun goes down. Take some time to enjoy your vacation time. Relax. You’re supposed to be Vacation Jasper.

Whoa! If I’m questioning my sanity after rereading my thought process, I wonder what you’re thinking. Maybe that was the therapy I needed to ease my mind and put my worries to rest. I’ll try to turn my attention to the positive things that are on the horizon:

Enjoying Esmeralda’s second Christmas
Spending time with Sydney and Esmeralda
Seeing friends visiting from South Carolina
Going to Disney World
Going to watch Clemson in the Gator Bowl

Whew! I feel better already. It’s good to be back in the blogosphere.


Stephanie said...

May I suggest watching "The Burbs"? If you haven't seen it, it's an old Tom Hanks movie about this very subject, and it's flipping hilarious. I'm actually going to rent it now that I've thought of it.

Black Hockey Jesus said...

Leave it to a teacher to whine about returning to work after spending most of the year not working!!!

ha ha ha

Hi Jasper. Happy Holidays!

Jasper Mockingbard said...

Stephanie: Somehow, I missed seeing 'The Burbs'.Are you saying my portrayal of suburbia is funny?

BHJ: Long time no see! Thanks for kicking me while I'm down! Happy Holidays to you too!

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