The Many Faces of Exhaustion
I recently got a note from a former student whom I had a particularly close relationship with thanking me for “everything you did for me last year, as a teacher, advisor, resident director and mostly as a friend.“ As you can imagine, I was very much touched by this, and it made me realize in how many realms we interacted. And then I had a mild panic attack. Perhaps it was bad timing as I’m getting ready for the year and attempting to get everything in order, while not used to waking up early and being “on” all day long, but it made acutely aware right now of the ridiculous myriad of roles we all play here.
The students come tomorrow, and I resume or begin my many (old and new) roles as a boarding school faculty, a tough transition for anyone who just had a 3-month summer: physics teacher… calculus teacher… dorm parent… bow tie enthusiast… advisor… avid movie watcher… newspaper advisor… disciplinarian… swim coach… 2 am roamer of the dorm halls… mentor for a new teacher… lunchroom vigilante… community service trip organizer… participant in the social life with the other faculty… weekend trip chaperone… person trying to keep in touch with people 10,000 miles away… and I’m supposed to be a friend too!?