What’s the word for not getting what you don’t want, but still feeling let down or left out because of the omission? No one seems to know, and I think maybe it’s time for old WW to leave her mark on the English language. And puh-leeze forgive me for the third person dealio just there. I am many things, but that self-important is not one of them.
Last week was teacher appreciation week. I’m not a teacher per se, but under state statute as well as local district designation, speech-language pathologists are categorized as teachers, and working in a school leaves us to be labeled “speech teachers, ” or if you’re little and have issues with stridency “peach teachers.” It’s OK, I’m super good at eliciting stridency in little ones. Anyway, I’m a speech-language pathologist (SLP), not a peach teacher. Still, it’d have been nice to have been included in the teacher appreciation trinket giveaway. On the desks of those around me were left lapel pins with the district logo (and people, the logo is a big fucking thing in my district–it’s all about BRANDING now in education, like we’re hawking electronics or ladies’ handbags and not the nation’s future). Now, in all honesty I’d never wear a lapel pin. I barely even wear clothing with lapels. I don’t even want the pin. Yet here I am, chagrined not to have been offered the opportunity to say, “nah.”
On a remotely political bend, it’s a damn near impossible job to be a teacher these days. The public HATES us, particularly the conservative public because it’s OK to hate en masse, and apparently they can’t remember they HAD TEACHERS themselves. You don’t become a fully-formed adult, even if you’re a complete d-bag, without having been taught in some capacity by someone who worked her ass off long hours with proportionately little recompense. PS–“you get summers off” is bullshit. It’s less than 10 weeks and WE DON’T GET PAID FOR IT. Get the fuck over it, haters. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, teachers. You are rock stars.
A big part of my job is fixing things. When someone has a baby or gets sick or whatever event prevents an SLP from being at work, I have to go in and cover their work if it’s short term and/or help arrange coverage with a sub peach teacher if it’s a longer period of leave. If I’m lucky, I have a day’s notice, but often enough it’s less than an hour or two. When new information or continuing education units need to be presented, it’s often me. When someone needs an agenda for a professional development meeting, it’s usually me who composes it, and often develops the content. This is not to squawk; it is merely the fact of my role. I have a weird job, I know that I do. It was an honor to be selected for a job I coveted and hoped to retire into when I turned 33, and I never took for granted the efforts several people laid down on my behalf because of their faith in me. I’m not one of those people who defines herself by her role as an SLP, but it might be fair to say I define myself as a really, really good program support teacher for the Speech-Language Disabilities Program. I get to talk with super smart professionals, wonderful educators and terrific people all tied up in one. I love that. These bright, engaging minds sometimes email me to say things like, “you’re really funny” or “there’s no one I’d rather listen to up there” or “thanks for doing that–we’re a hard group to talk to, but everyone is always silent when you talk, unless they’re laughing.” I LOVE that.
The point: I presented an hour’s worth of content about ethics (zzzzzzzzzzz. . .) at our large group meeting yesterday morning. After those presentations I am physically wiped out–even when they go well, which yesterday’s did. Go, me. For the first time ever, I got to say on mic, “thank you, good night!” Sure, it was because I TOTALLY messed up something I said but if you can’t laugh at yourself, well. . . lighten up, man. Because I had something to cover, I headed back to the office immediately–I wasn’t certain what time the meeting I was to cover began, and I wanted to be prepared before heading back out. I take my job seriously, and don’t want to represent poorly or in any way substandardly (probably not a real word either) the role of the SLP. Some co-workers decided to go out for lunch, but didn’t include me, and you know what? It stung. I mean after like 45 minutes I felt pretty sure they’d gone out, and when they came back all smiles and lilt, drunk with the sunshine, warm weather and Friday-ness, I had to go. I was afraid I’d cry, so stung were my heart and, as I feared would become apparent SOON, my eyes. It’s true that timing-wise it’d have been tight, which is why they didn’t ask–they’re not jerks–but it’d have been nice to have been able to say thanks for asking, but I have to decline.
There’s another social aspect of my life where I feel sometimes like I’m shouting into the void, but I think I’ve crabbed enough for one day. Writing helps me organize my feelings and I’m organized now. Exhale. Just now as I was typing, my little kid started cracking up because I was typing so fast–he’d never seen anyone type so quickly, and that made me smile. For the first time after a long, exhausting week, I had something to write, and it seems I had to write it RIGHT NOW and furiously. Take that, writer’s block.
The common denominator in these exchanges is clear: it’s me. It’s true that you can’t change situations, only the way you react to them, and I have some work to do. I’ve been accused of being a control freak. It’s not that exactly though. What is the word for not getting what you don’t want? Google is not super helpful in that endeavor today, so I’m going to steal one of my little one’s (and when I say “little” I mean that only in comparison–he’s 10 and only about 10 pounds less than me), made up words: Ninnercrommie. Although I’m open to suggestions from people who know actual words and maybe looked in a dictionary or thesaurus or something. Thanks, y’all.
Tomorrow I intend to finish up my “I love everyone who helped us with MDA Muscle Walk” post because I do. Holy crap, the people I have in my life? You wish you had ’em too. It’s taken me some time to process the walk and what it’s meant, and writer’s block, baseball practice, baseball games, grocery shopping, after-work presentations, piano lessons, kitchen demolition, during-work presentations, and bad knees beat me this week. Hmmm, fragile much?