I had a panic attack today. In class. The security associate that came to help me with a minor confrontation I had with a student instead began speaking very disrespectfully to me. I guess on a normal day I would have vented my frustration later to Tim or someone. Today I lost it. I think it was a build-up over the end-of-the-year anxiety and the earlier issue with the student. Anyway, I taught the students to say “Esto es el colmo” (This is the last straw). All of that while hyperventilating.
As they often do in crisis, the students used this opportunity to pull out their good sides. They brought me tissues, assured me that they were similarly appalled at the beating I just took, went to fetch someone to watch my class, voluntarily began reviewing their worksheet while I sat in the hallway breathing into a paper bag. The guy who pulled the class together to read the worksheet reminded me that in our first of three years together, he was rude to me, too (as in, “look how far we’ve come”). Another made me a paper crane with the words “People are just people” written on its wings.
Reminds me of two things. One, of all the parts about teaching, the students are the best. I think I actually am cut out to be a person who loves people, and I hope that is what missionary work will look like for me. Second, I’m glad I only have 13 days left of school.