Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Avoiding the Insanity Defense

Just as the title suggests, this blog is an experiment to see if I can successfully avoid having to make an insanity plea in a court of law. I am dreadfully afraid that if I do not find a healthy outlet for much of the frustration, anger, and aggression I experience throughout the school year, I will end up facing a jury of my peers from the defendant's chair one day.

A jury of my peers... That is a truly interesting concept, isn't it? I mean, seriously, if I were to actually commit a crime and face a TRUE jury of my peers, I would be acquitted. If ANY person were to ever be tried in front a true jury of their peers, they would all be acquitted. Think about it. If the jury for Charles Manson were made up of 12 cult-leading serial killers, would they have sentenced him to death? Probably not. If my jury were made up of veteran public high school English teachers, I am equally positive that I would be acquitted. Hell, I'm positive I'd be given a parade, and maybe my own national holiday. Well, if a jury of my peers were consulted anyway.

But, I digress, as I often have a tendency to do, thanks to my chosen profession. Anyway, this blog is my attempt to find a way to unburden myself with the negativity I tend to gather as a public high school teacher. The last couple of years have been tough on public educators. The failing economy, change in national administration, and rise in popularity of reality television have all led to a steady decline in the emphasis placed on receiving a proper education. As a result, my job just keeps getting harder and harder, and my audience of students less and less receptive.

It gets frustrating trying to explain repeatedly to my students why writing "B4 u go, I's wonton yous to no y he be hatin" is not appropriate for English class. More specifically, I need them to understand that is not appropriate for a formal literary analysis of William Shakespeare's tragedy, "Macbeth".

Also, while I do love my colleagues, and find support and encouragement within our circle, I can only vent to and with them to a certain point. In recent months, I have found that I need to vent to people who do not KNOW exactly why I am venting. Venting to my close circle of friends and confidants generally tends to end up only increasing my already astronomically high level of pessimism and disenchantment. Plus, I don't want to always discuss negative work-related garbage with my friends. I want to be able to have, and maintain, a positive outlook, as I do truly love what I do. I cannot imagine doing anything else. But, it seems of late the only thing that spews forth from our mouths is negative. And, as we all know, negativity only begats more negativity.

So, hence, this blog. This is my outlet for all the insanity I am forced to cope with, treat, and overcome on a daily basis. I welcome comments, observations, commiserations, and criticisms. Just please, remember you are talking to a frazzled English teacher.

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