Sunday, 17 April 2011

End of Term Madness

Remember my ‘off’ three weeks ago on Macquarie Pass? Well… the doctor in Accident & Emergency back in Canberra – the one who sent me home with Nurofen, a pat on the head, 3 days off work and a diagnosis of a ‘pulled muscle’ was WRONG. What I actually have is a stable, undisplaced fracture (yes, fracture) of the superior & inferior pubic rami. A minor pelvic fracture, certainly, but something a little more serious than a pulled muscle. Still gobsmacked that a person can show up in A&E after a motorcycle accident FFS, complaining of severe groin pain, and the bloody doc doesn’t bother to have the pelvis x-rayed! Am I wrong to be a bit worried about the standard of A&E doctors? Thank goodness for a switched-on GP!

So – I had a whole week off school. And what a shitty week it was. During that time I had my poor old cat euthanased. I cried buckets, tried to get as much rest as I could, borrowed an automatic car from Mrs Boomerang Boy, to get myself to x-ray & CT appointments, and felt pretty sorry for myself. My bike was officially written off by the insurance company. I went back to school for the very busy final 2 weeks of term, on crutches, unable to do stairs, and set up camp in my downstairs classroom.

The school, the staff and the kids were brilliant. A small and evil, but essentially, rational part of me says “well so they should be – it wouldn’t have been unreasonable for me to spend the remainder of term on sick leave!”, BUT – I'm also incredibly grateful for the way people were able to shuffle things around and step up to help me out. While bits of my body may have been a little bit broken, my brain wasn’t, and typing up lesson plans to send to school for someone else to teach, when I felt mentally capable of teaching the lessons myself, was driving me batty. I wanted to be at school with my students, dammit! Things like playground duty, however, were out of the question - and my busy colleagues covered my duties and swapped classrooms with me, and were absolutely wonderful.

It’s true what they say about adversity often bringing out the best in people - and I learned a LOT in the last fortnight!

Apart from having it reinforced that I work with a wonderful bunch of people, I also learned that:
  • Year 10 boys get a big kick out of taking a turn around the room on the teacher’s crutches – and will queue up for the privilege!
  • It makes students feel important if you ask them for help – whether it’s carrying stuff or scribing on the board for you – and they actually worry about their spelling when they’re writing it up in public!
  • Ex-students and students you don’t even know very well are keen to touch base and make sure you’re ok after something like a bike crash. I seriously felt so ‘cared-about’, there were times when I struggled not to get all teary!
  • Photocopying makes us lazy, and you don’t realise it until you can’t get to the photocopier and have to resort to low-tech or no-tech!
Having said all that – the last two weeks have been difficult, and the last week, with Basketball Presentation night, a Parent-Teacher evening and three full days of marking Yr11-12 Oral presentations was actually a sort of hell. There were times that I didn’t think I’d manage to hobble to the end of term – but I did! And now - thank goodness for school holidays! And thank goodness for Mallacoota – my equilibrium is in severe need of equilibrating (is that even a word???)