May 16, 2014


Growing up I worked in my dad's office during the summer. I filed, copied, shredded and organized. While it wasn't rewarding in the sense of feeling like I was changing the world, it was satisfying work. When the day ended I could see how empty the filing inbox was or admire my neatly labeled folders. 

This morning I didn't have anything urgent to do during my prep period so I walked down to the copiers with my co-worker. When we got there one machine had the red alert light on. I checked it out and discovered that every single paper jam location was flashing. I decided I was up to the task and methodically worked my way through every lever and knob removing paper while mostly avoiding the toner explosion. One by one the lights stopped flashing. I made a single copy and it passed through without issue. Then I declared it ready for use and my co-worker successfully used it for her remaining copies. This was my biggest accomplishment of the day. 

After that my PreCalc class remembered how to find asymptotes and holes. It went fine but I don't think anyone had a eureka moment. My geometry class got things done but they were loud and obnoxious and needy. I ended the day so exhausted I forgot it was Friday and didn't bring home my grading. But I fixed all the copier's issues. That has to count for something. Days like today I miss the simplicity of an office job. There's no human factor in alphabetizing. I know exactly what will happen every time I turn the knob in the copier but I never know how a student will react. Sometimes I crave predictability. But it gets awful boring. 

1 comment:

  1. I totally totally get this! I think that is part of the reason that I enjoy special ed...with all of its ridiculous paperwork. While it is often frivolous and meaningless, it gives me that sense of a job completed, of accomplishment, that I do not get from the class instruction part of my job where the job is never truly completed and the accomplishment remains ever elusive. I value having that balance.