Friday, May 25, 2012

Tired, But Satisfied

A call last night from the automated sub system for the Hart School District. A request for me to sub for the campus supervisor with my favorite hours, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The first time I've subbed since December, since furlough days made the campus supervisors skittish about taking time off during this latter half of the school year. Disappointing, but it was great to have work again, an hourly rate, and a check to come soon. I'm not sure if I'll be called in during the final week of the school year coming up, but I loved doing the job again.

I'm exhausted, of course. First, I had to go to bed earlier than I usually do, which I've no complaints about, even though my body made an epic attempt to get used to getting up at 6 a.m. instead of 10 a.m., and I was still tired on the way to work, also stemming from having gone to bed at 12:30 and having a little over five hours of sleep. I have to make adjustments. I need to start getting to bed earlier even though there's not a job coming up just yet. I need to because I need my body to be used to it by the time we move to Las Vegas. I need to be ready for job interviews and hopefully that position as a full-time campus supervisor.

I love the work. I love walking around an empty campus while the kids are in class, looking at the architecture (which isn't anything remarkable, since the buildings at La Mesa Junior High look the same as the buildings at Valencia High, my sister's alma mater), thinking about my reading, my writing, and, of course, seeking out some kind of history. At this moment, I'm thinking of all of La Mesa sitting there in the dark, gates locked, ghosts of history gradually emerging, more than they did today, even though I could sense them. There are untapped memories there. It's keeping in the style of the Santa Clarita Valley that brief glimpses of history are there, but aren't allowed to fully bloom. Always the future, as I've mentioned before.

Today was a busy day, mainly because on my first day back, I always overdo it. After the bell rang and the kids went to class for first period, I walked around and around and around the campus. John, the head campus supervisor, disappears into the campus supervisors' office, near the front gate, after the bell rings. I get it, because unless you're called, why expend the energy that you need for later, in supervising brunch (15-minute break) and lunch? I wasn't looking to impress anyone since I already know that I do a good, faithful job there. I should have taken it slower. But first, I wanted to get reacquainted with the campus, then have a few uninterrupted opportunities to look at the adobe-style building across from the office, and imagine that I was in New Mexico, where I hope to be many times in the years to come.

Most of my day was spent walking back and forth from the P.E. building. Kids to bring to the office to leave early, kids to go to the guidance counselors, one girl brought to one of the assistant principals because of a lighter in her backpack. By 11 a.m., I was already yawning. I wasn't all that tired, but my body sure wasn't happy. If there was a second day, a third day, I'd be used to it again.

I felt so satisfied today. This is what I want to do. I realized, though, that I have to make a few other adjustments, none troublesome. For one, in my finances, I need to put in a shoe budget. I'm going to wear out a lot of pairs of velcro sneakers, and I also have to buy protective insoles because I don't want to buy shoes with those already in them. I want velcro, and thus far only a certain brand that I wear right now. I'm happy to do that, because I'll be fully part of a middle school campus that I'll take as much pride in as I have at La Mesa. I've felt close to La Mesa, but not close enough. I can do the job, but I want to feel that connection in my job. I will in Las Vegas.

Generally, in this job, your days off are when the school has days off. You have the summer all for yourself, though I'll also seek work during the summer, in freelance writing. When the workday is over, it's over. You don't have to bring any work home with you, and you don't have to think about the day. The rest is yours, and your paycheck is secure. What more could I ask for? It's good, solid work. And in hindsight, it was probably inevitable, what with hanging around empty school campuses where my mom and dad worked, the same campuses where I attended middle school and high school.

To have a job I like in a hometown I love will more than make up for these nearly nine years in an unfeeling region. Judging from today, I still love it, so it'll be the easiest transition.