Friday, July 18, 2008

Exiting the Tornado

Have you ever seen cartoons where the character is sucked into a tornado and when they are spit back out by it, they are like, "Ohmygod…what the fuck just happened?"

That is kind of how I feel right now. Five days a week for six weeks, I have been going up at 5:30am to arrive at work for 6:45am. After a very full day of helping with homework, tutoring both math and English, stopping arguments, overseeing football games, giving out band-aids and Neosporin, and generally playing the role of momma hen; I would get home at 4:30 and still have work to do, whether it was working on projects for the kids or grading papers. The pay was not good, either. After taxes, I was taking home about $6.25 a hour.

I did this for six weeks. I was underpaid, underappreciated, and overworked. Some days I came home crying and most mornings, I didn't even want to get out of bed. How did I do it? Why did I do it? And more importantly, why do I plan on doing it again next summer?

It is something I can not explain. Yes, it was hard and there were days when I wanted to quit. But to see the look in one of the girls' eyes when I was able to explain to her a math problem that had nearly driven her to tears in a way she understood, that makes it worth it. The look of pride on one of the boys' faces when I told his mother what an intelligent, driven young man he is and how I think he will go far, that makes it worth it. To see how upset some of the girls got when I told them I wasn't going to be able to go to Atlanta with them because they were hoping I would be rooming with them, that makes it worth it.

I told them not to worry, that I would be with them next summer. I hope we are going to Austin. I've never been.

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