The first day of classes for the new quarter was Monday. After–and it was dark already–I bumped into a colleague and said, “You know. The thrill is gone.” She said that it was still there for her, but she had previously had some horrible job for 20 years, so teaching still had a kick. I don’t know, I said, but I have been teaching writing as my primary source of income since 1976. Maybe I have just worn it out.
I felt crappy. I don’t like feeling the thrill is gone. But what I was feeling was a bit worse than that. I just didn’t know how much longer I could go on doing it. As in, would I be able to make it through the quarter even.
The next day I woke up feeling completely washed out. I have been wrestling with some intestinal complaint and figured maybe I had contracted a fatal case of IRS (irritable bowel syndrome). Or I had stumbled into some depression hole. All I wanted to do was sleep.
Carol came home and said she knew what was wrong. One of her colleagues had missed Monday and looked terrible on Tuesday suffering from some bug that caused fatigue, headache, aching muscles and PND (post nasal drip). Honestly, that could pretty well describe my “normal” daily condition, but the idea I had a bug did help to explain the increase in intensity.
Wednesday–what do you know. Sure the IRS or whatever it is was still there, but I had some energy. That’s what had not been there Monday, not so much the thrill, as no energy at all. Wednesday the classes felt better. I enjoyed myself a little, and I think it’s important that teachers enjoy themselves at least a little.
So, OK. Maybe the thrill is gone. But as long as I have the energy, it’s a job I can do and feel it worth doing.