Something happened in the last year, somewhere between turning thirty, moving 7000 miles back home, getting married, starting a new job and discovering the wonder that is TiVo, but lately I have found myself unable to multitask the way I used to. In my twenties I filled every single moment of my day with something to do, whether it was productive or not. I needed a few hours of sleep a night and a Taco Bell bean burrito to keep me going. Somehow everything got done. Not anymore.
I have always held strong to the idea that no one can do things as well as I can, which was why at the beginning of the school year I scoffed at the idea of a TA (teacher's assistant) to help me in my classroom. I reflected on my own days as a TA, basically exchaging pages with my friends (yes, pages) or napping in the drama room for an hour a day my Senior year of high school, and realized I was better off alone.
K, a girl in my freshman honors class, begged me to be my first period TA a few weeks ago. She was so sweet about it-- something about a mom who worked early, I really wasn't listening-- but I finally did cave and let her in. 'Sure,' I thought. 'I'll give you a couple of credits for showing up every day. Go ahead and nap while I'm working. You deserve it.'
The thing is that K is so damned eager to please me that it turned out when I gave her small things to do, she did them. Well. And in that time I was able to do other things. Before either of us knew it, I was leaving her notes every morning for the things she was to do. She continues to do these things happily, and while I'm sure she complains to her friends how how unlucky she is that she is a TA for a teacher who actually makes her do stuff, I couldn't care less. I have actually been able to get to the gym a few times in the last month, which is nothing short of a miracle.
When V came to me last week begging me to be my 7th period TA, I at first said no. 'I already have a TA', I told her honestly, but she persisted, and it got me thinking. I am no math wizard, but I figured that if V was anything like K in terms of getting things done for me, two would be twice as good as one.
I was right. I love being right.
I refer to these girls as my personal assistants because I become much more important and legitimate in doing so. Just one time I would like to send either of them to pick up my dry cleaning and force them to say 'I'm Mrs. C's assistant'. I think it would earn me a lot of that street cred I have been so coveting the last year. Too bad they can't drive yet. Until then, they are forced to sort my handouts, check my mailbox, and remind me that a woman in her thirties knows that sanity trumps perfectionism.