Sunday, April 23, 2017

Get One More

 This is the time of the school year when some teachers have started doing assorted countdowns (X more Mondays, Y more Faculty Meetings,  Z more exams, etc.) as a way to get through to the end of the year. I usually don't start the process until May, but this has been an especially challenging year, not only personally, but for several of my Media friends. Somehow watching the numbers tick off, marking x's on a calendar, counting off the last of things helps us know that no matter how hard things have been for us personally or professionally, they will come to an end and we'll get a break before it starts up again in a fresh new way. But in the meantime, we have to get through each day...we have to "get one more".

I recently saw the acclaimed "Hacksaw Ridge" movie and as is usually the case in inspiring war movies like that, I am in awe of the courage, fortitude and strength that our soldiers have had in battle, from "The Patriot" to "Glory", from "Sergeant York" to "We Were Soldiers". I can't say I like all war movies, especially the more modern takes on them, but "Hacksaw Ridge" had something that put it in my "must see" movie list. No spoilers here, but the main character Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield, struggled to save his fellow soldiers in a horrendous grueling at a time. And that became his mantra, "Please, Lord, help me get one more" as he rescued roughly 75 men. He says it was 50, witnesses claimed 100, so they settled on 75!

Now I know we're not in such dire straits as Doss was during the battle at Hacksaw Ridge, but I find his expression of "get one more" helpful, if not lifesaving in everyday situations at work and personally. My "get one more" at work has enabled me to prepare 100's computers for our computer based testing for our 1000+ students, have the patience for students who think vacation has already started, show another teacher how the copy machine works and/or unjam it after they leave, run copies for another unprepared sub, re-arrange furniture and equipment for another unplanned meeting, send the link for Reading Counts quizzes to teachers who finally realized the power of that for motivating their students, etc. In other words, my job! Just when I think I can't or don't want to do/guide/re-teach/connect/promote another thing, I'm reminded to do "get one more". This year there have even been days when "get one more" got me back the next day. Meetings where "get one more" helped me focus and contribute. Rowdy students who "get one more" got me to finally  hook one of them up with a new favorite book. 

Maybe your "get one more" is personal..."get one more" leg press at the gym, "get one more" step/block/mile in your fitness; "get one more" bedtime story for the kids, "get one more" season of "24" that I binge watch, "get one more" potato chip! Whatever your situation, those baby steps and small increments can get you a long way when they all add up. This year I've managed to lose 20 pounds with that "get one more" mentality. Lots of ups and downs and slow going, but faithfully attending  my 7:30 AM Weight Watchers meetings on Saturday mornings and sticking to the plan and "get one more" day proved a winning strategy.

So are you counting the days until the end of the year? Are you facing what you think is an insurmountable Media/Teaching situation? Is it a struggle just getting out of bed and off to work? Try to    get a "get one more" attitude and face it one hour/half-day/day at a time until it's over. Nothing is impossible. And if, like Doss, your plea invokes the help of the Lord, you may find a strength you didn't think you had. But if not, at least facing it in small doses helps turn what you think is impossible to the possible. 

Right now I'm watching "A Hard Day's Night" on TCM. Sometimes I have to NOT do a "get one more" when I'm watching old movies! But I'm having some serious nostalgic thoughts now...I was in elementary school when the movie came out and still remember going to see it with girlfriends, then buying our Beatles' trading cards at the drug store after the movie, hoping for pix of Paul. And also, striving for the perfect flip hairdo those cool English girls had! So after this "get one more" I'll  "get one more" meal for the weekend, and prepare mentally to "get one more" day of school. Fortunately, the good days far outweigh the bad, and I'm not in the countdown mode yet. There's still plenty of good stuff this year to enjoy and look forward to. That's what I'm focussing on, friends!

Have a happy "get one more" and Stay Grounded!