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  • Writer's pictureKelly Marks


Have you noticed how cyclical a lot of things are? At our SAT school, the type of student, among other things, tends to come in waves. For the March SAT, I am tutoring almost all males. The December SAT had almost all females. In one six-week course almost all the students are shooting for perfect scores. And the next run will have almost all students who are struggling to get a score high enough to be even considered for admission. I’ve seen this happen for years, and while there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for it, it’s a definite phenomenon.

Do you remember this happening in high school? Somehow it always ended up that within a two or three day period every class had a test or major paper or project due. I felt pretty confident that the teachers got together and planned it. Lined up their calendars in order to inflict the most anguish possible on their students. Now I think it might have something to do with cyclicality.

This past week was the adult equivalent of having a test in every class. I worked so hard. Then the weekend came, and I joked with a friend that I worked so much over the weekend that I was almost looking forward to Monday so I could go back to my job and not need to work quite so much.

I am teaching the English and the math now for the SAT. I love teaching math, but I’m not exactly a “natural" so I have to study. A lot! I have an hour-and-a-half speech on Tuesday, and I need mostly new material. That’s in addition to a couple of other projects plus the normal phone calls, emails, and paperwork.

By Saturday evening I was tired, but I also knew I needed all day Sunday to finish up. Something that felt random but probably wasn’t, popped into my head, “Remember the Sabbath, and keep it holy.“

Why is it that commandment only seems like a wonderful idea when I have run myself into the ground with work or overscheduling? The rest of the time it feels like a punishment. It sounds like “Don’t do this. Don’t do that.“ It feels confining, restricting, and it chafes.

But when I’m overwhelmed and exhausted, it seems like the most logical thing in the world.

A doctor once told me to start taking a potassium supplement to help reduce migraines. It didn’t help right away. I had to take the pills for a couple of months, let them build up in my system before they did any good. I wonder if Sabbath-keeping is the same way.

One day off might just do some good, but imagine what might happen if your body got used to resting on a regular basis.

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