Originally created 12/31/06

Illness was well-timed, all things considered



EDITOR'S NOTE: McKenna Hydrick is a first-year teacher at Silver Bluff High School. She teaches English I and English II to ninth-graders. She is sharing her diary in this column each week.

I think of myself sometimes as the Energizer bunny because I seem to keep going and going.

I think most first-year teachers - or any teacher, for that matter - could be classified as the bunny. The only way to accomplish everything we have to do is to persevere.

I was looking forward to my (holiday) break for that very reason.

Yes, I had exams and research papers to grade, but it still was a vacation from everything.

This Christmas break was the first time I actually stopped and took a breath.

I slept in.

I rested.

I baked.

I shopped.

I ate.

I hung out.

I wrapped presents.

I celebrated.

I went to the movies.

I sang Christmas carols.

I rested again.

I ate again, and again.

It was wonderful.

It was relaxing.

However, I paused long enough to get sick.

People told me I would spend my first year teaching in constant sickness, but I am not sure I really believed them - until the break. I have been physically miserable in the midst of my happiness.

The more I thought about it, the more I started to get angry at my luck.

I work hard, and what do I get? I get ill during the only time of the school year I have to rest and have fun.

My body was so run down that there were days I could barely move.

I don't know why, but somehow my attitude changed about being sick, because I realized how lucky I actually had been these past months.

I have not taken one sick or personal day this whole semester.

I have been very fortunate to have made it that far without any serious illness.

I think my body realized that I had slowed down, and it adjusted.

I allowed myself to get sick when I could handle it. If I would have been sick while school was in session, I would not have made it.

It was unfortunate that I was sick over the break, but at the same time, I am thankful for the timing.

I guess this is just part of being a teacher and being around hundreds of students every day.