Teaching Hungover

If my body is my temple, then I’ve ransacked it for all its wealth and splendor and smeared filth on the walls. Last night, I did something terrible, something inexcusable, something untoward and deplorable. Last night, some friends and I. . . played Monopoly. Naturally, the only way to react to the trappings of a capitalist system is to drink copious amounts of cheap beer and rum and to shout “water is an ingredient” anytime someone suggested I should hydrate.

Artist’s rendering of the evil I’ve inflicted upon myself

I got filthy drunk and played Monopoly on a Wednesday night. I don’t know why my mistake was especially awful because it was a Wednesday, but the Wednesday-ness undoubtedly made everything worse. Now, it is Thursday because days have this awful knack of going one after the other. Chronology is not my friend.


I’m a teacher–something I forgot last night while shotgunning beers in my backyard. Students go to school on Thursdays–something I wish wasn’t true. I, a teacher, had to talk about responsibility, critical thinking, and healthy life habits while enjoying the feeling of a train wrapped in barbed wire and airhorns tearing through the meaty parts of my head. One student asked for an extension on a paper. I gave it to him because the thought of putting in the cognitive strain to say no was more painful than just giving him anything he wanted. I was so weak. More asked for extensions. I gave one to anyone who asked. They saw my frailty and exploited it. They would be amazing at Monopoly.

My mental faculties in a picture

The kids had a field trip today. My presence was required for about half an hour, and I don’t think I could have gone for any longer. I am weak, and though I logically know the floor of my classroom is not the deck of a small fishing boat caught in a hurricane, that is definitely what it felt like. My mouth always tastes like pumpkin when I’m hungover. I answered questions about the most recent essay I assigned and was more preoccupied with the harvest festival in my mouth than anything else. My past self was looking out for me today. If I hadn’t assigned such a simple paper, I absolutely would not have been able to answer my students’ questions. Questions require answers, and answers are hard to find when your brain is a tangle of old hot oranges, poison, and drooling bees.

I do not know if I will survive the day. I’m writing this while considering the merits of skydiving without a parachute. I did this to myself by drinking enough poison that I forgot it was poison, and then I had more. I would be a terrible life coach.

“Listen, kiddo, who am I to tell you that you shouldn’t throw back a shot and chase it with cheap beer then go to town on a Lord of the Rings themed Monopoly board.”

I’m lucky that my students don’t need me today, and maybe I planned for that last night. I don’t remember anything other robbing the Monopoly bank every time I thought I could get away with it. I’m lucky they’re all off learning about engineering or the environment or climate change or something–I can’t remember what this field trip is for. All I remember is drunkenly complaining to my cat about weird verbs these kids use in their essays. All I can hope for now is that by tomorrow this poison will have passed from my body and death will have long since taken me.


Life is pain. Remember to drink water.

17 Replies to “Teaching Hungover”

  1. I wish I had you as a teacher when I was at school! As for death making a visitation, the afterlife may not be so bad eh? You can always try coming back, might need a necromancer fir that bit though…They’re thin on the ground I would say.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Necromancy can be said to be an unreliable art but you do get to meet a variety of people, both living and dead. There’s travel involved and the prospect of great danger. Am I selling it to you? Although I guess teaching offers better job satisfaction and pension benefits.


      2. I’m pretty sold on this whole necromancy business. If there’s a class I can take to learn the dark arts or is this a subtle marketing strategy and you’re actually a necromancer looking for a job. Either way, I’m all in.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Been there, done that. No, not as a teacher, but as a manager who had to lead a meeting of his work group. I don’t remember much about that meeting because I was concentrating so hard on not spewing the contents of my churning stomach all over the dozen or so attendees. I think I was successful, although I can’t be 100% sure.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure, it’ll brighten everyone’s day. As for the necromancy angle. I can’t profess to any necromantic skills. Spent too many years in the company of Anubis and other chthonic deities (in a creative sense); absorbed ‘something’ by osmosis. Like one eyed Odin my perception of the world is a little different. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, this is great. You do a nice job of tying your topics in with images. I’m wondering where you source your pictures from! Do you worry about royalties/that type of thing or is this The Internet and thus it’s all fair game?

    Liked by 1 person

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