I’m feeling overwhelmed. That doesn’t happen often, but that’s probably because there’s usually someone at home that I can discuss things with or vent to or who will hug me when I finally break down into tears. Unfortunately, in order to make a better life for us, my wonderful husband had to move to a different city, and we’re apart for three months. That alone is wearing, because even the strongest people need support sometimes. Someone to vent to. To talk to. To agree with you or help you work through things. Everyone needs someone.
Honestly, I think I wouldn’t be so stressed during this difficult period if it wasn’t for one thing: I’m in charge of our school’s Prom and Senior Banquet this year. That is completely exhausting and one of the most stressful things I’ve ever had to do as a teacher. I don’t think it would be so bad if I’d been given a list of what was required or what I was in charge of at some point in the last three years, but no such list was ever produced and I’ve pretty much had to make it up as I went. And I hate it. HATE it. Teachers are expected to be well-organized and have a dependable structure for the things we do, but we’re not usually given the materials necessary to reach those standards.
Luckily, I’ve figured out how to structure and hold down a classroom. But Prom? Senior Banquet? I don’t know the first thing about either of these events, and I’m expected to make them both wonderful and memorable galas. Just thinking about the fact that Prom is a week away makes me sick to my stomach (and is why I’m up now, rather than sleeping like a regular teacher on a school night). Normally I would vent about my concerns and fears to my husband, who would hug me and make me feel better about this entire thing, but I don’t have that right now.
You know what I do have? A blog. So congratulations, random readers that made it this far: unlike my regular posts which usually have some sort of insight or opinion into this varied and beautiful world, you get a venting post about a Prom in a high school you will never see or even hear of. Yay! (Don’t worry–I’ll understand if you decide to leave now).
So. With Prom. That’s next week. I got the theme and decorations down, which is nice. We decided to do a glow in the dark theme and I’ve been slowly ordering decorations with the Junior Class funds throughout the year. That’s working out okay. I DID not, however, realize how much those same funds were supposed to cover. Besides the decorations, there’s the DJ (which I didn’t know about until yesterday—everyone’s booked), the photographer (which I forgot about until today—again, everyone’s booked.), the crowns for Prom King and Queen (which are incredibly expensive) food, drinks, utensils, and—here’s the kicker that really caught me off-guard—the Junior/Senior Banquet that takes place the day after Prom. Again, some sort of list or something at the beginning of the year would have been nice. I had no idea what sorts of things needed to be included in a high school dance, and I certainly don’t have the faintest clue how to host a banquet.
So, I’ve been struggling to keep on top of everything, while a billion people on all sides are asking me questions or asking why I haven’t got such-and-such done yet or if I’ve talked to so-and-so. Not many people are actually helping, of course, and apparently NO ONE understands what RSVP means, but I smile and listen to their complaints and go back to keeping my head above water. The RSVP thing really gets me. I’ve sent out letters with specific dates, but have had no responses. Are people not aware that I have to buy food ahead of time?
Speaking of food—How the hell am I supposed to know what is considered appropriate for a banquet of this nature? I asked the students what they wanted, and they chose a tradition meal from their Reservation. That’s a neat idea, and (luckily) I was able to find a couple of women who know how to make the meal and who were willing to help me. But then I was told that our choice wasn’t fancy enough for this particular gala. Where are people pulling these rules from? And if they’re written somewhere can I PLEASE get a copy?
In case you’re wondering, I decided that we’re going to go with the students’ choice of dinner because I’d rather they eat something “common” that’s important to them than something “fancy” that was forced. Yeah. That particular decision made some people upset. But other people would have been upset if I’d gone the other way. No matter what I’d done, people would have complained (are going to complain) but very few would have offered advice or assistance. It’s a good thing that teaching has taught me how to develop a really strong backbone. I’ll keep standing by the decision I made.
I still don’t know what we’re going to do for food or drink on Prom night. I don’t know how many people are going to attend Junior/Senior Banquet and I have to order food tomorrow. The Juniors have to write prophesies for the Seniors sometime this week. That should be easy, because I wrote them for the teachers who did Prom last year and the year before. And I do enjoy doing them. But if I asked someone else to write them for me (like previous teachers did to me) do you think that they would put much effort into it (assuming they agree at all)? Maybe. Do you think that someone’s going to complain about the person I eventually found for Prom pictures? Probably. Do you think someone’s going to freak out that I’m probably going to use Spotify for our playlist since I didn’t find a DJ? Most definitely. That’s kind of what happens with teachers. We do the best we can with what we have, people complain, and we persevere anyway. But simple, little things (like a list of what’s expected or a kind word of motivation or gratitude) would really be nice too. In fact, things like that are enough to keep us going for years. YEARS. They have to be. Because that’s about how often we receive get thanks or recognition. And usually it’s enough.
I’m lucky. I normally have a husband who supports me every day and helps me with everything he can. He goes above and beyond for me. But without him, I’m seriously wondering if I have what it takes to pull all of this off.
I’ll talk to you all in two weeks. By then these things will be over, and I’ll tell you how they went. Then it will be just in time for me to start stressing out over the annual Talent Show I put on. Which I really am excited about. Stay tuned.