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8 Things Only Teacher Spouses Will Understand

6, 7, and especially 8!

What It’s Like Being Married to a Professional Educator

Being married to a teacher is great. Nobody works harder. Nobody is more motivated. Nobody is more ready and willing to correct your poor grammar. Nevertheless, there are a few things you should know about being married to a professional educator.

1. Your dinner dates will constantly be interrupted.

Think Friday night means it’s time to kick back, relax, and enjoy the company of your significant other at that new restaurant that just opened up? Maybe. Chances are you’ll make it to dinner. But chances are higher that, just as the waiter is bringing your herb-crusted, non-GMO, something-or-other to the table, your beloved will get a call from her principal outlining the new school strategy for standardized testing. Or she’ll see an email from little Johnny’s father lambasting the fact that he only got a 98 on the last pop-quiz. And you’ll sip your wine in solitude and check your Twitter feed while your wife performs educational triage in the parking lot.

2. It’s easy to take conversations with adults for granted.

I go to the office every morning. And talk to adults. And work with adults. But my wife doesn’t. She goes for hours at a time every day without conversing with anyone over the age of 13. When we’re both home, sometimes I catch her staring at me with an odd look, hanging on my every word while I talk about some mundane conversation I had at the office. She’ll interrupt me: “You mean NOBODY in your office had horrible BO? Or cried because their girlfriend broke up with them? Or inexplicably fell out of their chair while you were talking to them?  You’re so lucky!”  Lucky indeed.

3. Your spouse will always be a better parent than you.

I’ve been a dad for almost six years and I like to think that I have this parenthood thing down pat. But I have nothing on my wife. Her daily focus is getting the best out of dozens of kids. Making them do things they don’t want to do and providing a hundred types of support in a thousand different ways. Every time I think I’ve had some type of amazing breakthrough with my kids (got all of our kindergarten sight words on the first try!) I quickly realize it’s because she’s already laid the groundwork (reading with them since they were 6 weeks old!). Sometimes it’s easy to forget how great a teacher she is. But then I look at what she’s done with our children and I remember.

4. Halloween demands constant vigilance.

We live very close to my wife’s school. All her students know where we live. I see how low the egg inventory gets at the grocery store the last week of October. You better believe I spend Halloween on my front porch with a raised eyebrow, a flashlight, and a grimace.

5. Nobody multitasks like a teacher.

Until I married my wife, I had never seen someone who could simultaneously cook, soothe a crying baby, talk on the phone, and make lesson plans. But then I realized her day is full of doing a thousand things at the same time. She reads, teaches, conducts parent conferences, referees, participates in faculty meetings, plans summer school, coaches the flag football team, and finds some way to squeeze in bathroom breaks, all while managing a hoard of hormonal preteens. And I thought mowing the lawn while holding a beer was a big deal.

6. You will never EVER win an argument about work.

Me: “Man, I had a rough day at work. My morning meeting didn’t go well, I have a big project due tomorrow, and our yearly reviews are coming up.”

Her: “A kid in my first period class farted so much I had to teach in the gym for the rest of the day.”

7. Your spouse will never be the only teacher in your life.

Teachers flock to other teachers. It’s a scientific fact. Any party we go to, my wife unconsciously seeks the other teachers there. It’s like her ears are tuned to the word “pre-planning.”  And then she spends the evening in deep conversation with someone she’s never met while I hover by the punch bowl and blink at the wall. The number of adults in my life who are educators is obscene. On the bright side, I appreciate a fully-functioning photocopier more than I ever thought possible.

8. Your spouse is a hero who saves the world every single day.

I could never be a teacher. And I know I’m not in the minority. Many people don’t realize it, but being a teacher is challenging, and tedious and about as unglamorous as a profession can be. But my wife doesn’t care. She does it in spite of little recognition, low pay, and long hours. (Three months off in the summer isn’t a thing, ok? My wife has maybe three weeks completely disconnected from school in July and she spends those planning for the coming year.) She knows it’s more than a job. It’s a calling. A way to make the word a better place at a fundamental, actionable level. And I feel lucky to see it happen on a daily basis.


The “I’m Getting Old” Starter Pack

  • “This is way too sweet.”
  • “They’re remaking that movie already?”
  • “My back/knee hurts.”
  • “Wait, people get mad about that now?”
  • “I can’t eat that, it’s gonna fuck my stomach up.”
  • “Hold on let me check my calendar first”
  • **turns on the radio** [groans]

Quote of the Day

A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” ~ Bob Dylan

I Don’t Feel Any Older…

…than I did yesterday, or the day before, or even last month—but the calendar tells me that I’ve somehow managed to survive one more trip around the sun.

When I was in my 20s, my 50s seemed impossibly far away. Now looking back it feels like the years have passed in the blink of an eye. Hell, I realized that next year Ben and I will be celebrating ten years together!


Oh, That’s Just Silly

We saw Alien Covenent tonight.

It wasn’t a bad movie, but it wasn’t a good one, either.

I had hoped for so much more.

My initial thought as the credits were rolling was that this franchise has become the M. Night Shamalan of the genre; something that started out great and rapidly deteriorated to predictable, meaningless, crap.

Predictable is the key word here. There is nothing left to shock or surprise any more. You already know that by the end of the film everyone except one or two humans and the Synthetic will have been dispatched in the most gruesome ways possible.

The monster alien drips acid. The alien has a double steel jaw and likes to tunnel through your skull with it. The alien will burst out of your body somewhere. And most importantly, if you’re separated from your comrades and your attention is focused somewhere else, you will die.

Viewed strictly as horror cinema (which is what the Alien franchise is), it was much more effective when you didn’t know every anatomical detail of what was lurking in the shadows. What we don’t know is far scarier than what we do.

I remember how I felt after leaving the theater back in 1979 at the original Alien premiere. It scared the bejeebus out of me. I kept looking over my shoulder as I walked back to my car, and then kept one eye on my rearview mirror all the way home.

In 1986, after screening Aliens (IMHO probably the best film of the series), I came home and promptly turned on every light in the apartment.

But no more. Now the whole thing now just strikes me as silly.

To its credit, Covenant isn’t chock full of stupid scientists the way  Prometheus was. It also answers most—if not all—of the outstanding questions posed by its predecessor. But it was so damned predictable. Ben whispered the final “gotcha” moment to me a good fifteen minutes before the end of the film; something I’d also already figured out on my own.

And Ridley Scott says he wants to do five more? Please, for the love of the gods, NO. Let it DIE.


Back to “Normal”

They weren’t the circumstances under which I wanted this to happen, but since it did, I’m going to make the best of it—even if it means #backindebt again.

Say hello to my new Mac.

I’ve had it less than 24 hours, but I have to say that everything I’ve read online about this machine is true. It’s beautiful. It’s responsive. The display is awesome. But what do I like the most?

The keyboard.

I’d been a little worried about how it would “feel” in relation to all previous iterations of the Apple keyboard because of all the negative press the redesign initially received, but at least for me, it’s an absolute joy to use. The keyboard illumination is uniform and has no light leak at all.

You know what I like second most? The fact that encountering a page full of animated gifs online or using Adobe Bridge no longer sends the fans into overdrive. That is wonderful!

Yeah, I kind of miss the glowing Apple logo on the case, and I still think the Touch Bar is more gimmick than anything else, but there’s no denying it’s a cool gimmick, and maybe some day I’ll actually use it for more than just changing screen brightness or playback volume…

Since this time I was able to restore from my last Time Machine backup in full—in comparison to having to pick and choose what to leave out because Ben’s old MacBook couldn’t hold it all—bringing this machine online and have everything work from the get go was a breeze.

And now there’s a new rule in this house: NO LIQUIDS ANYWHERE NEAR OUR TECH!

Quote of the Day

Forget about the Presidency for a moment. Trump’s behavior would get him fired from Applebee’s.” ~ Andy Borowitz