The Blues & Roses

I've been pretty down lately. Mostly I blame my emotional state on the sinus infection I have been fighting for the past six days. What started out as a small cold with the change in season, turned into a full blown sinus headache that left me home in bed for four days. My doctor enforced quarantine coincided with the Fourth of July, which left me to sit at home and wallow in my homesickness while watching an obscene amount of Friday Night Lights. I haven't eaten a real meal in days and I am tired of my constant state of nausea.

Too much time alone at home resulted in lots of research about my inevitable move back to the States. I began looking up courses to take in my first semester of grad school, I googled apartments that I will never be able to afford and started dreaming what the next- next step will be.

I've been dreaming about theological conversations over coffee and internships in museums. I've been thinking about thesis topics and whether or not I want to get a degree in art history. I've been dreaming about moving to Europe after grad school and getting my PhD.

Then on Thursday, it was back to reality and back to teaching six year olds about fact families. Maybe it was the hunger speaking, but I was in a foul mood yesterday. I nearly broke into tears when thinking about how I just don't want to do this anymore. I didn't feel passionate about any of the work that I was doing and became jealous of all those who calling teaching their vocation.

This morning, as all of Peru erupted into happiness to celebrate Teacher's Day (because everyone has a day), I was resentful. I couldn't understand why there was all this commotion. I wanted to scream out, "And what about theologian's day? Art historian's day? Don't you know, I'm a fake! I'm not a real teacher!"

But then, this afternoon we had a small party to celebrate "our day". Before the party started, one our our sweet boys ran up to me and gave me a dozen roses. He wrapped his arms around my neck and proclaimed, "Happy Day, Miss!", then bounced back to his table. My heart melted. How can I be resentful about a job that allows me to accept flowers from a six year old whose hoodie zips up into a Spiderman mask? How can I possibly be upset about spending my day getting hugs, tying shoes and helping with spelling?

I might not have studied elementary education and at times I might feel lost, but at the end of the day it's just about loving those kids. About teaching them and helping them and showing them how to be decent human beings. I have the rest of my life to get lost in theological discussions and art history theory, but I only have a few more months with these kids. Next year, when my brain feels like it is going to explode from a theology reading, I will miss the days of kids making predications that water is going to explode in the freezer. Or coming out of the bathroom with their jacket on upside down. I will miss their innocence.

So to all you real and maybe not so real teachers out there, Happy Teacher's Day from Peru!