There is this dread that comes with Sundays.
Sundays…in and of themselves…aren’t terrible things.
In fact, they’re actually quite pleasant.
I mean…they ARE the day of (alleged) rest.
And the day of sports…and things?
And farmer’s markets.
And yet, in spite of their sunny disposition, they always seem to be overshadowed by the clouds of impending Mondays.
And the funny thing about Monday is that…it happens and you’re like, “Okay. That wasn’t too bad. I can do this.”
And then Tuesday comes and slaps you right across the face and says, “No…you can’t.”
And that’s exactly what it was.
It was a Tuesday…
It was a Tuesday when I decided to play Jeopardy.
My students had a test the next day, so I said to myself, “You know what would be a great way to review? Jeopardy!”
I mean…it’s a classic, right?! We’ve all done it.
We’ve hung with Alex.
We’ve daily doubled.
I wrote out the questions.
I created the categories.
I scribbled dollar amounts with knock-off sharpies on printer paper that I found in my classroom and taped it haphazardly to the white board.
I was all set.
And then children…no…teenagers…entered my room…and slapped me across the face.
They metaphorically slapped me across the face in the same way that Tuesday often seems to.
And with that slap, they metaphorically said, “No. Try again, Trebek.”
It was bad.
It was the longest Tuesday of my life.
I actually think I have PTSD from the experience and seem to flinch a little any time someone mentions the “J” word.
It was while thirty, fourteen-year-olds were screaming at each other from across opposite sides of the room that I rose up out of my body, looked down upon myself, and thought…what were you thinking?
And I stood there.
With the hovering ghost of my soul above me…judging me…
And I thought to myself, “These are made-up dollar amounts…hastily written on cheap paper. None of this is real.”
And I thought about how the grand prize for this whole fiasco…was a cheap glow stick I bought at Target a few months ago. (It was only thing I could find in my desk at the last minute.)
So they’re screaming at one another about cheating or about who raised their hand first or about the accuracy of their answers.
And again, I’m just standing there…and floating there…staring down at myself.
I have a decision to make.
So I waited.
And then I said, “Okay. We tried that. Didn’t work. Let’s move on.”
And we moved on.
Because that’s the thing about teaching.
That’s the thing about life, really.
You try things and sometimes…they don’t work out.
In fact, sometimes they fail.
I mean…REALLY fail.
And you can cry. And you can yell.
You can even quit.
Or you can float up out of yourself.
Look down at your current situation of (what appears to be) doom.
Because failure happens.
And it’s funny.
You tried it.
It didn’t work.
There will be more glow sticks.