I am amazingly and pathetically sick today. What a drag it is! My typical pattern in the relatively rare times when my immune system fails me is to simply deny the failure. I take whatever over the counter meds might mask the symptoms and I go on. That's exactly what I did this whole week. And that leads me to Saturday where I can finally cave and just be sick. Still taking over the counter drugs mind you but at least putting my hands up in surrender and going into the jail.
To be honest, I did kind of amaze myself this week. First, I had the jury summons hanging over my head all week. Every evening (Sunday through Thursday) I went on line and checked the County Court's webpage, afraid to see what numbers needed to report the next day. Honestly I would not have minded so much having to report to the courthouse except that a) second trimester progress reports needed to be collected, collated, and mailed out by Friday b) The third trimester schedule needed to be inputted into the computer so I would have enough time to place all 300+ students into classes by the end of February and c), oh yeah, the principal / superintendent was out of town all week at an educational conference. I am the de facto principal when she is not here and, if I were at jury duty, I think my office staff might have just walked out en masse. So, in some previous life somewhere I must have done something good (remember as in Sound of Music?) because the jury gods decided to spare me for this round. I can rest (on the county level anyway) for a year.
I did manage to get all the progress reports done AND the schedule inputed in between the myriad of other tasks and obligations I fulfill. Sadly, on Thursday, I received a concern from a student about other students having alcohol on campus. Although I suspected adolescent fake bravado to be the source, I was obligated to follow up. In the end, I suspended seven students for consuming and/or distributing alcohol on campus. One student was cited by the police department for public intoxication (he was 2 times the legal limit). That whole process meant interviewing more than a dozen kids, talking to all seven students' parents, both on the phone to give them the news and then more in depth when they arrived to pick up their children. I also had to talk to my peeps at the police department. I wanted the student who was clearly inebriated to be cited because it is the best way to get him help (the others had only sipped). He will be required to appear in juvenile court and likely part of his sentence will include some kind of substance abuse counseling. He is only 12 years old.
The toughest part of that alcohol incident is my own frustration around education and prevention. I enjoy my near daily glass of wine but I am an adult and I enjoy it responsibly. I am passionate about the need for education around alcohol and drug use with adolescents. However, you can talk a blue streak to a 13 year old but the need to be seen as cool, to fit in, is huge. Additionally the code of silence will not allow students to divulge who might be engaging in risky behaviors and so kids end up in trouble. I need to know how to bridge this stuff.
And this brings me back to this morning. I really don't get sick very often but I know this is the real deal. Probably some bronchitis or pneumonia going on but now I can stop my life for TWO WHOLE DAYS and focus on recovery. I focus best by being alone and entertaining myself with my solitary pursuits. Markie tells me to go get some Gypsy Cold Care Tea so I might go down to Whole Foods later and do that. For now, I have my hot mint tea, my books, and my window on the world (both the real one that looks out on the neighborhood and the window contained within MacHenry). I am a happy, albeit sick, camper.