Monday, December 5, 2011

Mixed Emotions

Well, actually not even mixed.  I'm pretty clear on my emotions, and I'm not ashamed to say that I'm behaving pretty selfishly right now.

I left LHS to move to a PJPII to be with my girls and work part-time.  It really is the ideal job for me:  3 days a week, I see my children, the little ones are eager, minimal behavior problems...the list goes on.   In the past several months, I had been having feelings of regret over leaving the high school, especially while rehearsing for a Christmas play at the new school.

These kids have never really been introduced to a real theatrical experience; and certainly not my method.  It was frustrating because, at this time, the middle school students just don't have the maturity to handle what I'd like them to do.  We just had our performance, and it turned out pretty well.  Everyone seemed impressed.  I am encouraged that with more training, they will eventually rise to a certain level.  I miss working with high school students in that respect.  It is a different sort of fulfillment.  I don't miss the high school classroom, but I do miss high school theatre.  The exact opposite is true at PJPII.  I enjoy the classroom, but the theatre is difficult.

I had a whole day to enjoy the apparent success of my show.  My former Thespians competed in their District competition the same weekend.  I've not been in contact with them this semester, but I felt compelled to wish them "to break a leg."  This opened the flood gate of texts.  Saturday night, I learned they were awarded a Superior rating for their one-act play and will represent the District at the State festival.  This is an honor I received twice, but has alluded me since 2005.

This is where the "mixed" emotions part comes into play.  So many thoughts are swirling around in my head.  I don't even know if its worth trying to organize them into paragraph form.  So, I'll just list thoughts as bullet points.  Don't forget that I know I'm being childish and selfish.

  • I wish I could have received that Superior!  I also wish I could share in their jubilation.  That is one of the best feelings in the world.  I worked really hard in years past and feel that we were judged rather unfairly, especially last year.
  • I love the thrill of competition!  I miss that.  It doesn't last long...not much longer than the weekend. But it is sweet while it lasts.
  • I can't help feeling that they're thinking that maybe it wasn't such a bad idea for me to leave.  The new director can take them places I couldn't.  Is she better than me?  Is her method of directing better? I guess what it boils down to is that I'm just jealous.
  • Their play dealt with autism.  The director has an autistic son, so the topic is special and dear to her.  That sort of topic, when done well, is also a sure winner.  It reminds me of my Boys Next Door in 2005.
  • I know the actors were superb.  I never doubted their talent.  I have to tell myself that I had a little something to do with that.
  • A part of me feels that maybe I lost my edge during my time off from teaching. 
  • They're putting on the play for the community this Saturday.  They've asked me to come.  I want to see it, and I want to support them.  But it will be really hard.  I really just want to avoid it.  Every time I read a Facebook post, it makes me sad.  How will it feel being there?
  • I was ready to can the thought of more productions at PJPII.  I have a fire now to push those kids.  I am goal oriented, so this is my mission.  Maybe one day, we'll be ready to enter into a Junior Thespian competition.    
The LHS students who were texting me the results wrote some really nice things:  We miss you, We love you.  That was nice.  But still, I am a little down.

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