The Hours

If you are no longer in high school (lucky you), hear some harp arpeggios and send yourself back there…. The hour of the day that you had a class makes all the difference.  You got your most hated class right after lunch?  Great time for a nap.  Your best class first?  Bummer: you’re still half asleep.  Here’s how I would break down my teacher persona, hour by hour.

1st hour: No matter how memorable you are, it will take me at least twice as long to figure out who you are.  Especially if you look similar to someone else in class, or you have a similar name.  This year, it took me a whole quarter to quickly distinguish my three broad-shouldered, five-foot-ten guys.  Every day, I’ll be slightly spaced out, and the lesson will be the shakiest of the day.  The examples will be hit or miss.  The agenda will sometimes expand or contract awkwardly, as I realize that there are too many examples or I have set a goal that is unrealistic.  Don’t even think about showing up without your dress down money.  Kiss of death.  Bottom line: it doesn’t matter how much coffee I drink.  And it’s not personal.

2: I’m going now.  Things are swinging along.  Waking up.  Coming up with some better examples.  Explanations less rusty.  I know who you are.  I may even be a little bit funny.  Caffeine hitting the system.  Patience kicking in along with caffeine.  The bottom line: this isn’t a bad group.  You could do worse.

3: This is often the best lesson of the day.  Kinks worked out.  I’m pretty much awake, but not tired yet.  I will attempt to be funny, although you may not find me funny.  I can even have personal conversations with you that are carefully planned and deftly executed.  It’s almost time for lunch!  Generally, I like you, and you like me.  Bottom line: optimal time period.  Thank your lucky stars.

6: I wasn’t exactly psyched about ending my lunch/planning/break time to come back to class.  This is elective hour, though, so I get to mix it up, and you get to mix it up.  I’m getting a little worn out.  I’m unlikely to lose it on you, though.  It’s just an elective.  I only have to live with you for a semester.  Let’s relax a little.  Bottom line: go with the flow, and you’ll be fine.

7: We’re almost done.  On the other hand, this is the best hour to take a nap.  Afternoon sun.  Brain almost full anyway.  If I have settled into the day, I’ll be all loose, knowing what I’m doing.  If it’s a rough day, there’s no patience for your shenanigans, young lady.  Out.  Out.  Bottom line: if we can get our second wind, we’re golden.  Otherwise, it’s a tough haul.

8: The last hour of the day!  There’s no reason to work now!  Way too tired, pent up.  Brain overstuffed.  Sick of the whole thing.  We all feel that way.  I will find my serious, angry voice about 80% faster than any other hour.  You will complete half as much as everyone else, and learn it half as well.  I will try to squeeze every last drop of energy out of us both.  If we get the whole lesson done in a way that is halfway reasonable, I’ll be thrilled.  Bottom line: it isn’t pretty.  No matter how smart or well-behaved your fellow students are, they are now at their worst.  If we find our groove, it’s a miracle.

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