Ode to an Idiot

Tomorrow is October. That means speeches. And stress. And sleeplessness.
October is when I begin preparations for Fine Arts Competition in March. …I say “begin” as if I’m actually starting. As if I actually stopped preparing after last year. I didn’t. I prepare all year. But October is when I “officially” begin working on speeches. October is when I put the list on the board and bully and beg and cajole students into signing up.
October is also when I pull out my handbook from last year’s Nationals and go through my notes and ideas.
You see, every April, we go to National Fine Arts Competition. I spend hours watching students and schools from all over the States perform. I write down what they do, how they performed, and what my opinions are. Every afternoon, while my students are sleeping or shopping or just goofing off, I look over my notes and contemplate the next year’s competition. I reflect on what I’ve seen and brainstorm new angles and new ideas. The majority of what we will perform the following year is decided then. …and I write it all in the Nationals handbook.
A few weeks ago, I was cleaning out my office. Every now and then, I get the urge to purge, and I go through the massive piles of paper that I manage to accumulate. (I swear, those papers are getting together and making paper babies. There is just no other way I have all that stuff.) I found the purse that I carried at Nationals and was clearing out the papers. (It’s one of those big, roomy deals that I can stuff everything in.) I came across the handbook from that week and thought, “Oh, I don’t need this,” and I threw it away.
…I’m going to repeat that because I don’t think you caught it. I threw it away.
All of my notes. All of my ideas. All of my strategies. All of those authors from all of those speeches.
I. Threw. It. Away.
And the worst part is that I saw it in the trash can every day for about a week and a half and it never once hit me that I needed that. Not once did I have that small niggling something in the back of my brain that usually alerts me when I’m about to do something stupid. Nada. Nothing. My brain betrayed me. It let me casually destroy all my hard work.
I feel as if someone has died.
I feel as if I’m the one that killed him.
I really think I could cry.


One thought on “Ode to an Idiot

  1. Pingback: The Lost Masterpiece | Tongue In Chic

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