New year, same school

Welcome back hardly seems like the appropriate greeting at 7 am as my bleary eyed students slowly trudge into class. Some have changed drastically since last I saw them – new hair, new body modifications, new clothes. Others are the same high schoolers I said farewell to in December.
Somehow, though, those two weeks seem like a lifetime ago. Much has changed for me. It’s not my outlook, and no, I didn’t make any new resolutions. But something is different.
I’ve hundreds of papers to grade. I don’t feel pressed to get to them, though I need to complete the task this week. We’ve just concluded our first novel and the process of studying literature has drained me. I often feel like I’m the only one vested in the story. Although this year, there was one student who delved deeply into the book and pushed ahead of the class. He’d come in every period with some new critique, discovery, or observation about the characters and their lives. It was refreshing to discuss the book instead of trying to explain it. But he’s the only one.
Tomorrow, I hope, I’ll feel refreshed, recharged. I’ve got to liven up my work. I’ve got to stay on top of the grades.

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