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 hung out.
I wrapped presents.
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.