Today was a good day. It's Thursday, the last day of my work week which means that I woke up today ready for it to be over already. By this time in the week I have a lack-of-sleep hangover that makes me pretty irritable and means that I have little patience for the antics of my evening university students. This morning I took Angelica to Grandma's and I as soon as I left I was already spinning my wheels on the most annoying details (like meeting my husband to pick up a forgotten parking pass for the university and things of the sort), frustrated that once I was at school time had fallen like sand through my fingertips and I was already late for an afternoon meeting. An afternoon meeting of the sort I had no interest in and nothing to bring to the table from my viewpoint. Bad attitude all around.
Surprisingly it was during that meeting that things started to turn around. I was half-there half-somewhere else in my head when my colleage alluded positively to a point I had just made. I must have really been less than 50% there because as I did a quick back-flip through my mental files I honestly could not remember making a point...any point..to which she could have been in agreement with (I know, I see the dangling preposition). It made me absolutely giddy with surprise--athough I hid it well--but it also did something else. It made me stop and think about what was being said and realize that maybe my presence there wasn't as insignificant as I thought. I listened a little better after that, (wouldn't you have?!) and by the end of the meeting I felt integrated and accomplished.
Integrated and accomplished--I think that's why we all go to work, right? To feel that way. Granted, I'm blogging about it because it is something out of the norm, something that I don't always feel on a day-to-day basis. You know, speaking of percentages...none of us can give 100% to every area of our lives at all times. Not everything is going to be successful every day. Yet this week I have received a few jewels of encouragement in this area, and maybe that's in direct response to the heaviness I have had in my heart in relation to my work lately...
As in, does it really matter what I do? Do my students care about what I say? Am I bringing anything of value to them, or am I just falling into a broken record routine, spouting out the same old contrived lessons from years past because I am too tired and too overwhelmed to make much of an effort to make things new when I am just trying to get by?
Last night at the end of class, a student who I've had for two semesters said something to me that no previous student ever had. She was excited about her progress in Spanish and she said: "It's a real blessing to have you as a professor. I'm blessed with all of my professors this semester".
My reaction is not to get a big head and say I'm doing such a great job. Because truthfully, I'm really not. I am just trying to get by, but I am trying. And that comment made me realize that it's not in vain. And so tonight, tired as I was when I started off today, I got a spurt of energy in my classes and actually enjoyed being there as I listened to my students' presentations on the Day of the Dead and the running of the bulls in Spain and while explaining stem-changing verbs. I laughed, I was silly, I got into it and said some dumb things, I was just...me.
For a natural-born introvert, that's a pretty big deal! And for all of the times I dread going to work and I doubt why I'm there, this week for once, I am content on a Thursday evening--happy with the work that's been done.