Normally, I'm quite excited during this time of year. Even though I don't teach in a one-room schoolhouse, I still teach and we tend to get wired in mid-August. Usually by now, I've had a little while to re-charge my batteries, I've got my new highlighters and Post-It notes, freshly-copied syllabi are stacked in my office - I just feel organized. Ready to go, if you like.
This year is different.
I'm sure it's due primarily to the budget woes which have beset my state - the legislature finally agreed on a budget just last week and it seems to contain a fair number of items that fall into the "well, it's the best we could do" category. It's as if education was one of those drawings of a cow you see in the back of butcher shops and the legislators had a shiny cleaver. It's hard to be the rump roast of the state. Sorry to snipe, but what else is a blog for some days?
On top of that, enrollment is booming (we actually have "big" registration day in a few days, so the boom is likely to become a deluge) and, since we had the money at the time, offices are being rebuilt, which means many of us are in temporary digs, making it harder for students to locate us. And no, we don't deliberately hide from students (much), who are often very confused and bewildered at this time of year.
All of which makes hobbies so much more important that usual, at least for me. I have a tendency to pile quite a bit on my plate and it's good for me to have one thing to do that I don't have to be an expert at, but is done for sheer enjoyment. Lately, I have to tell you, my hobby has taken on job-like proportions, which means I need to re-evaluate a few things and hopefully soon.
Sigh. Out of balance before the school year even begins. Need to re-adjust and start over. I daresay a walk in the sunshine with the Spooky-dog (the spookiest Spook to ever spook a spook!) will give me a good start.