Yes, I know, my blogging has been suffering lately.
To the point of fans (yes, apparently, I DO have fans...) asking me what happened to my blog.
Alright, "fans" with an "s" might be a stretch. But one person asked, I was flattered, and so I'm going with the notion that other people might also be on the same page and be wondering what happened to my writing.
What happened to my writing is what happened to my life! Which is wonderful, exciting, terrifying, and exhausting all at the same time, but mostly, right now, exhausting.
For anyone who hasn't heard, I've accepted a doctoral assistantship with Salisbury University. In exchange for working with the Salisbury education department faculty in conducting research in the field, I'll be granted a tuition waiver.
Yes, I was blessed enough to be given a full ride as I earn my doctorate.
Words can't express how excited I am for this opportunity.
But, it's also a bit scary. Per the terms of the contract, I'm not allowed to be employed full-time elsewhere. So, just like He has always done for me, God showed up in an incredible way and opened doors for me to make up the difference in income.
The Cottage Café, an awesome restaurant with which I've been employed as a part-timer server for the last seven years, made me a front-of-the house manager. Full-time in the summer. Dropping back to part-time around my schooling schedule come fall, with the understanding that my duties to the education department receive priority.
I'll still be coming up a little short of the teaching salary I was receiving, but when you consider that I should be coming out the other side of this four years later with a doctorate degree valued at approximately $120 grand for FREE? I'd say it's worth it. No questions asked.
Even my principal said I would have to be a fool to turn it down, so she understands why I'm leaving.
But in the mean time--with the end of the school year closing, and all the emotional implications and chaotic end-of-year work, with training for my new position at the restaurant on the weekends and having basically said goodbye to such a thing as a day off for the past two weeks and at least one more week to come, with trying to ensure my responsibilities to the Young Writers program aren't suffering in the process--well, to say the least...
Things have gotten a tad bit crazy. Maybe even crazier than usual.
Here's an example of how exhausting last weekend was.
Saturday morning, Oak Ridge Baptist Church held the first ever Stride for Supplies, a 5k race I helped organize. Because I wanted to be there to help set everything up, I got up at 4:30 am. It was a great time of fitness, fun, and fellowship. We also raised tons of money for our partner schools to purchase school supplies with.
Sidebar, I also won my age group--in my first race after October's full marathon!
After the race, I tried to manage a quick hour or two of relaxation at the beach, as Shieme and Kaliah were out of town for Rashieme's grandmother's birthday. So I went alone figuring it would be some much needed down time to relax.
This didn't really turn out to be the case, thanks to the group of high school graduates lounging out behind me who were BELLOWING out idiotic conversations in which the F-bomb was dropped in every other sentence multiple times. I heard not a single intelligent comment throughout the forty minutes I endured attempting to ignore them. It was impossible to block them out, and it was as if it had never occurred to them that they weren't the only people on the beach, and that the multiple families surrounding them with small children might not be interested in hearing about their drinking, sex lives, drinking, and astute observations of the human condition that couldn't be expressed without multiple mentionings of the terms "Dude, f***, bro, yo, f****," etc.
I know I was once young(er) and dumb, but this sad, shallow example of "celebrating" life following graduation by perpetuating the stereotype of idiotic drinking as the norm for the 18 and over young people crowd really made me worried for our future.
Anyway, onward I went to work. I ended up closing and getting home at a little after three in the morning. I didn't fall asleep until after 4 am, at which point I realized (a little deliriously) that I had been up for nearly 24 hours.
All that to come to this point: After working another shift on Sunday and then heading to one of my final days of teaching on Monday, I arrived home completely exhausted. Rashieme took one look at me and ordered me to bed. I complied, and when I woke up, I panicked.
The clock said 6:50. Kaliah's bus comes at 7:15. I flew out of bed, skidding into the dining room and immediately reprimanding my daughter.
"Kaliah! It's 6:50!"
Why was she wearing her clothing from last night??
Hmm... maybe because it was still "last night."
I had automatically assumed that I'd been asleep for the entire evening and somehow missed my alarm, when in fact, I'd barely been down for two hours.
Lifestyles of the totally exhausted.
But alas, all this is coming to an end.
Yesterday was my last day with students. Maybe ever. At least for four years. My head and heart are full of emotions. This was a great year to possibly end my teaching career. I will truly miss these kids, and my work family at MMS. But I'm looking forward to my next adventures. I'm looking forward to new possibilities and opportunities. I'm looking forward to a more flexible schedule, and to, eventually, more time with my family and less time grading. Hopefully more time for my writing.
As far as the immediate future is concerned?
I'm looking forward to a few good naps.