Down in the Dumps, and Climbing Out

Pascha is always the high point; after it, everything seems to tumble.  End-of-year deadlines approach with alarming speed.  Carefully-made professional plans unravel left and right.  Weekends pass in a frenzy of social events and dump me abruptly back at Monday morning, where class after class seems to have lost all interest in learning:

  • Yesterday one (out of fourteen) students got one (out of eight) geometry problems right.  In case math isn't your thing either, that means there were 111 wrong answers and just one correct one.

  • Other classes struggle with Fitzgerald (Did he have to spend a whole paragraph describing a drunk, weeping singer?) and Eliot (Would Prufrock please stop mooning over mermaids and just make a decision for once?)

  • This evening I asked a piano student, who wore a slightly-sullen expression, whether she was all right. "Yes," she replied.  Then, thoughtfully: "Well, my nose itches."

Somehow it's still only Tuesday, though this week is a short one (we leave Thursday for five glorious days of travel in the South.)  So in case your week is going anything like mine, I wanted to share my best advice for climbing out of the deepest of fogs: friendship.

  • Have pulled pork at Little Havana with people who love you too much to care (or even notice) that your eyes are swollen and red from the atmospheric pollen.  Laugh a lot.  Optional upgrades: coconut custard, Flying Fish Summer Ale and half-price entree night.

  • Watch an episode of Anne of Green Gables.  Preferably one of the first ones, in which her rare and precious friendship with Diana saves her from a life of loneliness and despair.

  • Read this heartwarming portrait of two teachers who stuck by each other through personal and professional difficulties and remain the closest of friends.  In New York, of all places.

Don't get me wrong.  True love is grand.  But friendship is what makes this all worth it.