There is something difficult about returning to the work of teaching, as I must today. A week off is a fairly long while; coming back up to speed, redeveloping the momentum that I had had before the break will be a challenge. Ideally, it should be eased because I am rested, but although I slept in abundantly on my days off, I do not feel as though I am well rested; I think I am still at a deficit. I shall endure, plodding through the day as I am set to do, but I rather think it will not be as easy as I have the sense it is "supposed" to be. It is another myth of the working world, I suppose, that so short a vacation (not that I was fully on vacation, of course; I was working, albeit more slowly and on other things than my classroom) is enough. Then again, I do teach for a living, and we all know why people teach; it should come as no surprise, then, that I remain wearied. I am, after all, one of "those who can't."
Whether I can or not, however, I must, and today will have me back in the classroom with all four sets of my students. It has been two weeks since I saw one of them; I teach them only on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the last Wednesday that classes were scheduled happened while the plumbing was malfunctioning. I have some catching-up to do with that set of students, particularly since they have an assignment due on Wednesday, as well as several chapters of reading assigned and not yet discussed. How many of them will have worked over the break is unclear to me; I expect few, but I also know that the students in question are not of the traditional sort, and returning students tend towards greater diligence in my experience than do the more traditional. That some have, I know; I have seen the reports from my more professional online endeavors that the materials I provide have been accessed from school websites. It is some comfort to know that there are people paying attention to the work I do for my pupils.
So it is that work continues once again. Some six weeks or so of classes remain, and several assignments are coming in during the remaining period. They are of increasing heft and weight, which is sensible enough; students should be capable of more later in the term than they are early on. Too, there are fewer students in my classes now than when the term started, so the burden on me that the assignments impose is lessened somewhat. But there is still a damned lot for me to do in the classroom and for the classroom, of which less will be recognized and validated than might be hoped. And I now have to fight my way forward from what was almost a dead stop; inertia works upon the person and the mind as much as it does upon the dumb and thoughtless objects of Newtonian physics. I shall have to apply no mean force to return to the work of teaching today, as I must do.