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Prayer works! (was re: Teacher Burn Out)


From: Mark Alexander (markcalexander_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Mar 06 2003 - 11:29:03 PST

Thanks so much for your kind words. Yes, I find prayer works - I just received word from my oldest son in Taos who had not been heard from since Christmas. He didn't 'run away' but he had lost his job, then his phone, then his email, and he didn't return letters. He was depressed and just holed up by himself for a while. I was so worried that I had the police looking around for him and a family search party was packing and ready to to go out to find him. This morning he just nonchalantly emailed to say hi, totally oblivious that he had his friends, family and me so worried. He has always been in a world of his own. Anyway, this lightens my load quite a bit, and now with my second snow day in a row (see, prayer works) I'm making my puppets! They're going to be a couple of my best ones, I predict, but even if they aren't, it sure feels great.
Thanks again, Mark
Frances Marze <> wrote: Mark: Try to hang in there and be appreciative of the good things in your life as you seem to be doing. I will keep my still working artsednet friends in my prayers as I have the luxury of retirement now and it is usually relaxing; but I still have to watch I don't become too involved in too many things. So reading about burnout reminds me of that.Continued good fortune-Fran----- Original Message ----- From: Mark Alexander To: ArtsEdNet Talk Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2003 7:08 AMSubject: Re: Teacher Burn Out

I've been lax in following ArtsEdNet the last few weeks, but I'm feeling burnt out. I'm blessed with my art work, which seems to be the surf board carrying me through the rough waters.
Presently it seems as if my life is a wave of distracting stuff that makes the difficulties of being a good teacher inconsequential.
I am in danger of being run over by a parent driven bandwagon that is bearing down on me and I've been in daily contact with CEA and private lawyers to limit the damage (fortunately, my principal, superintendent and BoE Chair is standing firmly with me) .
Meanwhile, one of the two grad courses I'm taking this semester has me doing a professional action research project and I'm finding I have little energy to apply to it. On top of it all, I've been suffering through a long bout with the flu (or maybe my Lyme Disease has returned?), I'm in constant fear that my country is taking a very destructive path, and last but far from least, both of my sons (19 and 21) have me very worried as they deal with their own difficult issues.
I have two aspects of my life which are saving me: My partner and my art. Trish is so supportive despite my seemingly never ending saga of wave after wave of bad news. She loves to collaborate with me in my art making, which is the creation of puppets, characterizations and performance art. We have a big break scheduled for next weekend for which I'm creating two new puppets for my Mortal Beasts and Deities series. We're furiously preparing the characterization details of these new puppets for a performance at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art on Saturday the 15th, in North Adams. I'll send pictures to Judy afterwards. Those of you nearby might enjoy the show. Email me privately for details.
So I'm on auto pilot in the classroom. There is a lot of good stuff happening there, but I'm feeling a bit burnt out and have recently needed to take a few days off to cope. Every day I thank Trish and the Mortal Beasts and Deities for helping me get through all this.
Peace, Mark

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