The Perks Of Dating A Teacher

My mum was a teacher when we were growing up. She eventually gave it up for non-governmental, non-profit work but there are still embarrassing memories of being treated as a teacher’s daughter. However, being as young as I was back then, some of these memories have blurred into one and have started to fade. I am, now, however, dating a bookie-turned-writer-turned-teacher. This brings with it its set of perks!

You appreciate the mornings –

Our day starts at 5am, the unholy time his annoying alarm starts chirping. No matter what stage of sleep I am in, once that alarm goes off, my day begins. Even if my work starts at a more normal hour of day, I am forced given the opportunity to literally listen to pre-sunrise birds. The three hours I gain from this means I have time to binge watch the blacklist go to the gym and eat a healthy breakfast.

You appreciate the nights –

Having woken up at unearthly hours means that your body is slowly fading by the late twentyonehunderhours. This means that the three hours that you do get from the time you leave work are spent in the best way possible – cooking a meal, binge watching ‘Making a Murderer’ while he either grades papers or lesson plans spending quality time together and sleeping. Weeknight date nights? Umm, what’s that?

You appreciate the weekends –

A teacher’s idea of a lie in during the weekend means waking up at 7am in the morning! When you date someone who is a loud waker-uper, you are doomed given the gift of having a really long weekend. So instead of waking up shortly past noon, you have the whole day ahead of you to do whatever you want. Unless, of course, he’s brought the lesson plans home again.

You appreciate your health –

Working with cold-carrying munchkins kids means you become quite kid too. This has helped me take to naturally occurring sources of Vitamin C like it is the newest weight loss fad. This also means that I have become quite good at tossing masks at his face and ducking for cover every-time I hear a sneeze making hot chicken noodle soup and being the excellent nurse that I am.

You never stop learning –

If you are lucky enough, you get to hear their teacher voices all the time. You not only get to brush up on nursery rhymes you thought you’d hear again. Sometimes when a point is being made, certain people (I’m not naming any names) stand up and make the point. On the plus side, you get to be up to date with the latest hits on the 2016 nursery rhyme chart!

Go find yourself a teacher. If nothing else, you will get ugly adorable fridge magnets and wall hangings to decorate your house!

The Neon Diary

Its hard to pin down a memory when there is so much of nothing to do that you just don’t have time. You know what I mean? And sure, I did say I’d write a memory a day but sometimes I just stare at the moleskine diary and wish it would fill itself up. Or just … disappear. I even started getting panic attacks and the insomnia came on full force – what am I going to write? what am I going to say.

Performance anxiety. We meet again.

But then, because of that stress to make each day memorable, I’m starting to notice the little things. Like how my grandmother sometimes giggles in her sleep, how my dad listens to the carpenters at 5 in the morning and dances around the house in a bid to get to work (which is a room 5 feet from his bedroom by the way). And then there’s my mum with her “Close the curtains, the neighbours are watching” warning everytime dad tries to hug or kiss her and my dear brother making a brownie with cornflour and how out of breath my sister is when she calls at odd hours of the day (she lives in England) while walking to some place of importance.

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I’ve realized how my life is a series of check marks on a massive things to do list. Have you smiled at a stranger today? Have you done something totally eccentric and dangerous? Have you said something clever on facebook? Have you left everything just to start all over again somewhere else? It has been a series of challenges but things are not always as exciting or as fast paced. In between Europe and Africa, I have had my share of doing absolutely nothing but dragging myself around the house in my PJs.

And that’s when you know you’re avoiding the “What next” question – which I’m an expert at. It’s been 7 months. But then all these things catch up with you and suddenly I’m in the “lets review” section of my lesson plan.

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1) Africa changed me. I’m too afraid of losing my shit in the Social Sector to even put a whole-hearted effort into finding another job there. Its too emotionally draining and I’m still recovering or scarred or wounded badly. Either way, in India, the NGO work leaves you jaded.

2) Taking care of grammie sometimes has the same effect on me. I’m hoping that I can shift to the creative side – make something, write something, read something or teach something.  Just to get some balance, you know? Something that cuts me off emotionally but still thrills me like only creating something can.

3) I can’t imagine not working with children, even if only on a voluntary basis.

4) Early and special education has suddenly been grabbing my attention. That and mental health. Maybe it’s both take care of grammie and those infants at Africa that’s done this to me but the idea is blu tacked in my subconscious.

5) Sometimes I think I should give up everything and just be a kindergarten teacher who travels the world and writes in her free time- it’d be like those Disney movies – a very interesting turn of events but highly unlikely?

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Is it a sign that I’m growing up when I let go of my lists in that moment when my nephew comes up to me with a huge smile on his face and tells me how he’s the captain of his football team? We made noodle soup together and put on cartoon network and giggled ourselves silly when this came on and he said, “Anju, it’s a sign”

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Dear Neon,

I want a turtle. Now, please go away.

Love,
A.