Anyone feel bad for who/how they are as a teacher?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by VANewbie, Jun 10, 2011.

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  1. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Am I the only one? I remember last year someone posted about staying late afterschool and their teammates and others always giving them a hard time because they came early and stayed late.

    Mine do this to me. They look at me like I don't have a life and why would I ever want to stay after or come early?:confused:

    So now I am turning things in early to get ready for the end of the year, meeting deadlines in a timely manner, cleaning and organizing my room and my teammates look at me like I am taking things too serious.
    This is just how I am and I want to be a good and efficient teacher. I know I am. I just hate how they make me feel like I am a nerd, loner, goody two shoe etc. for staying late and doing things on time.

    There are days when I want to get my stuff and leave and then sneak back in the school. It's like if I don't leave when they do then I'm the weird one.

    I can't be the only one who feels like this.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm never ashamed of who I am as a teacher. I would never sneak in the back door. The only approval I seek is from my administrators who appreciate my professionalism, the families of the children I teach who appreciate the quality program I deliver, and my kids who run into my room every ay wager to learn and who hug me on the wy out.
     
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I wouldn't worry about it. You are probably over-thinking it a bit. And you probably will back off some as time goes by and you get other priorities in life.

    I'm a relatively new teacher but I'm as old as some of the new retirees. I do not feel the need to constantly do everything perfectly or make everything look as it is going perfectly. I leave when I want to leave. It is later than the veteran teachers because I simply don't have all of my mess together like they do. Yet. It takes more time for me because I do not have all of my lesson plans the way I want them, I still need to make copies of everything and my system isn't as streamlined as it could be. But I leave earlier than the young single women who have much more free time than I do and are less confident in themselves.
     
  5. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I would love to work with you Newbie -- you'll keep me on my toes and help me manage my time better. I'm always asking my co-workers what they are doing when they say that they have so much to do. I like to share my resources to help them out but I also want to make sure that I'm not missing out on doing something.
     
  6. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    I've had this happen before. Once a teacher accussed me of being a bad mom just because I stayed half hour later to tutor some students.

    Even this year at this new school, it seems that teachers feel threatened by my work ethic. Some keep telling me about how I do to much by coming to work early. It doesn't bother me much but I find it fascinating that they spend that much energy focusing on these things such as what time I get to work.
     
  7. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    It never used to bother me but now for some reason it does. I mean they are right I don't really have a life. I have no kids or a second job to run too.

    I love my job and love to stay there fixing things, making copies and being prepared.
     
  8. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I wouldn't stress about it. We usually think people are paying more attention to us than they really are. The important thing is that you feel like your life is balanced. If so, then you're good. Be happy!
     
  9. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I feel the opposite a lot. The people in my department come in very early, work into the evening, and often come in over weekends and breaks. This was not the culture of my last school - you wouldn't even be able to access the building on the weekend or that late at night.

    So I work my butt off during the day, and I leave and get there on time most days. Occasionally I will stay late but I usually don't feel the need to. I often get little comments about leaving "early" or coming in "late" (really on time). It's really irritating. Like I am not as good a teacher as them because I don't stay there until 8pm every night.
     
  10. Proud2BATeacher

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    We are booted out of the school at 4:30 pm almost every day of the year (the custodian locks up at 4:45 pm). The only time that we could stay late, is if there is a meeting in the evening. We are also not allowed to come in on weekends during the winter months once the boiler is turned on (November - May). I would love to stay late at least once a month.
     
  11. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I don't know if this applies to you, since I'm not sure how much time you're talking about by coming in early/staying late, but we have a coworker that is a complete workaholic, and we say things to her because we are genuinely concerned! Yes, sometimes it comes off as good-natured ribbing ("I'll be there in a half hour" "Okay, so 3 hours then?") but even then it comes from genuine concern. She is a second year teacher, young and single (then, again so am I:)) and she will literally stay at school until 8-9 pm most nights. She also comes in on Saturdays and some Sundays. One of our teachers just had an engagement party and she was in my room when she was sending out the e-vites. The party was at 7 pm on a Saturday. She asked me if she should even bother inviting this teacher, because she knew she wouldn't come since she would be working! We've managed to drag her out to happy hour TWICE this year (we pretty much go every Friday) and both times she went back to work after happy hour on Friday night. On the professional side, she is an excellent teacher and I honestly do admire her dedication. However, more on the "friendly coworker" side, I worry that working so much just isn't healthy! We need to take time for ourselves to relax, and I'm afraid she'll get burnt out way too fast. This is my first year, and I was excited when I first met this teacher because she was my age, single (there are only 3 of us in the building that are totally single, and it's hard because sometimes social things turn into "couples nights") really nice, and I thought we would probably be close. However, she just works SO much that it's been impossible to develop a "real" friendship with her. I like talking to her if we just sit down and chat (which is rarely), but she's just never available to do anything social.
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

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    I must admit--during my first two years as a teacher, I'd stay until 6-7pm each night. Friday night was my late night--8pm. I'd normally work all day Saturday or Sunday, too. It was insane. :dizzy:

    Over the past three or four years, though, I've managed to only stay 15-20 minutes after the bell rings. My contracted hours= my work hours (unless I have a meeting after school).

    I think that even though I no longer work overly-long hours, I am still a great teacher!

    P.S. Back then, I didn't have my OH. Nowadays, though, being in a relationship takes up my free time! :D
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    During my first year, when we must complete an internship, I was at school almost every single day until seven or so and I would also come in on the weekends. I was there until ten or eleven more than I like to remember, especially before the formal observations. That's no longer necessary...I just had a lot of groundwork to lay. Whatever the case, it's your life and your choice. I wouldn't care what they said.
     
  14. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jun 11, 2011

    I still stay late but my late now is different from what late was in the earlier years!

    But everytime I change grades or programs or schools, I tend to stay later in the fall.
     
  15. old_School

    old_School Rookie

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    Jun 11, 2011

    I dont know if this would help or not but if you need to access your school PC to work you can get a program called "Log me In" for free. Remotely connect to the machine an work as much as you want. Those whom know what a remote connection is will understand how it works. It basicly just remotely connects to your computer through the internet. So if your paperless and digital, you can work from home. If you need further help or suggestions just PM me on the subject.
     
  16. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Jun 11, 2011

    I stayed late and came in on the weekends my first couple of years just to keep my head above water.

    Now, I can get a lot of things done more quickly because I've been teaching forever.

    However, I think Jem once said something that stuck with me. She said that teaching was not just her job, it was her hobby.

    I agree with that. I spend time looking for new lessons and creating things because I enjoy doing it. I like being organized. I like getting things turned in.

    But like you, I used to get annoyed when people said anything to me about it. Now, I just smile at them. I like my hobby.

    (Thanks, Jem)
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I know I'll probably get called out for phrasing it this way, but you're absolutely wrong.

    "Having a life" does not equal having kids or a spouse or a second job.

    Having a life is the capacity to find joy in the things you do.

    There are plenty of moms who are so overrun with their kids' activities that they feel they "have no life."

    And plenty of people who run from job to job who feel they also "have no life."

    You find joy in a noble profession, one where you make a difference every single day to those kids in you care. You won't always realize that difference, and neither will they. That's the nature of the job. Sometimes you hear from one of them years later, and you realize the impact you had on that one child.

    It's like the story of the starfish, which I've told here many times:

    The Starfish Story
    adapted from The Star Thrower
    by Loren Eiseley (1907 - 1977)

    Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

    One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

    As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

    He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

    The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

    "I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

    To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

    Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

    At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."



    Don't let anyone else make you feel bad about who you are or what you think is important. Each of us has that right-- to decide what our priorities are and how to best find our joy. And it's absolutely wrong of anyone else to think they have the right to make that decision for us.
     
  18. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I was one of those that worked too hard too and I have kids! I just couldn't figure out what I can cut down on or how to balance it. Of course, to give myself credit, my second year already showed a reduction in those long hours. So I start to realize it was my learning curve.

    I do agree though that life needs a balance. Teaching can definitely be your hobby and something you enjoy doing a lot, but make sure you enjoy life outside of teaching too. That restoration is so important.

    But I wouldn't feel bad about putting in different hours than your coworkers. You do what feels right to you.
     
  19. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Be yourself. I have known teachers like you and those that judge you either 1. fear you 2. envy you 3. or are just miserable and looking for a target.
    If you are not going to be yourself who will you be? The person you think your fellow teachers want you to be?

    This.:thumb:
     
  20. ecl

    ecl Rookie

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    People will always be judging you. This is life.

    Your reaction to the judgement tells you something about yourself.

    It didn't bother you before because you felt fine about your actions; therefore, their judgement didn't mean a thing to you.

    The fact that it now bothers you means that maybe you are seeing things a little differently now, and it is giving you food for thought.

    This is not a bad thing. Pay attention to your feelings, because they are important and can guide you to making changes.
     
  21. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Jun 11, 2011

    :thumb:
     
  22. KinderCowgirl

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    I agree with Stephen-people make fun of other people for things they feel insecure about themselves. If not this, they would probably find something else to complain about.

    I get the remarks too. I'm usually there about an hour early. If I get there a 1/2 hour early-I get "you're late" from people on the way in. If I leave on time they act all shocked-YOU'RE actually leaving! We'll be meeting and they'll say-well, we know YOU already turned this in!

    Honestly, it's never bothered me. If they want to make fun of my work ethic, I prefer that over making fun of one's appearance or something else. I don't take it personally that's my reputation.
     
  23. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Is it just me? I noticed that since the budget cuts started last year, I've seen an increase of teachers feeling threatened by teachers who do more.

    This year I'd had more teachers coming to me explaining why they can't be at school earlier or why they can't stay later. They start by telling me that they notice I get to work one hour earlier but that they can't because....

    I honestly tell them that it's just my working style, that I'm a morning person, and also if I leave my house later I will be stuck in bad traffic. This kind of puts them an ease.
     
  24. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Alice, I really like your post.
     
  25. jwteacher

    jwteacher Cohort

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    Jun 11, 2011

    My first year I stayed to about 9 or 10 o' clock every school night the first six months. I didn't feel comfortable or organized with myself as a teacher, hence the reason for working so late. (It didn't help I was hired the day before the school year started.)

    This is my third year teaching, and I'm still staying until 6 or 7 o'clock most nights, and that's again because I've set a benchmark that I want to meet. I don't compare myself to other teachers and do not care that my car is the last car in the parking lot.

    This attitude of mine goes back to a book I read on leadership called The Way of the Shepherd. It stated, "Someone is going to have to pay the price. It's either going to be you or your employees. A great leader will pay the price with his or her time, effort, and dedication while a so-so leader will not."

    I can relate that to myself and the kids, so I'd rather be the sacrificial lamb since I promised myself going into this profession I'd do everything I can to help the kids succeed. Obviously, when I become a veteran teacher and feel more comfortable with where I'm going, I won't have to stay so late each night, but for now, I need to do everything I can.

    Everyone has their opinion on what makes a great teacher, and I have my own. No one should be able to tell me otherwise.
     
  26. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    :thumb: :agreed:
     
  27. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I definitely don't feel ashamed of who I am as a teacher. We all have our different styles, habits, and strategies that make us unique. If you feel good about what and how you are doing something, then there is no reason to feel ashamed, others you would need to make changes. This is true for the hours you are putting in. If others make comments and have issues with the amount of time you put in, then that is their issue and not yours. It is likely that they might not even be trying to make you feel bad. I come in pretty early, only because DH works at the school so I go with him (he has to be there earlier than I do). The latest I like to stay is an hour after school, and that's because I give tutoring after school. I have made comments to other teachers who stay much later only because I don't know how they do it. I am exhausted and have to nap after school. My comments are always along the line of, "I don't know how you do it" or "I could never stay that long". I have never meant my comments to be offensive or demeaning, only an acknowledgement that physically I cannot go that long. I think it is possible that the teachers commenting to you might not realize you are taking their comments offensively. Like I said, if you feel good about your choices, then you have nothing to worry about.
     
  28. The Maestro

    The Maestro Rookie

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    Jun 11, 2011

    The first year or two that I taught I would often stay after school til 6 PM, but after 17 years I'm organized and prepped up enough so that I no longer need to stay that long. In fact, I often leave for home a few minutes after the kids do nowadays.

    I do remember seeing one teacher who would stay until 8 PM on a daily basis, and I did wonder at first what she could possibly be doing all that time, but it didn't bother me all that much, and still wouldn't. On the other hand, we did have a principal who told some of the teachers that they were staying too long and should maybe go home.

    Also, my former school would rent out the cafeteria to a small church on Sundays, and since the alarms were turned off by the custodian for that purpose, many teachers came by to get extra work done while the church was there. The principal finally told us all to just enjoy the weekend and stay off the campus on Sundays.
     
  29. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    While I don't have anything against teachers putting in extra time, I can see where your principal was coming from. For myself, I have to have a cut off. I do have a family and other things going on in my life, and in this profession you could literally go 24 hours if you wanted. For my own survival, I have a cut off and anything not done at a certain time must wait until the next day. If not, I might burn out. I really feel the cut off has helped me so I can focus on my family at home and get things done here, and still enjoy teaching when I am there. I do almost everything at work, except for lesson planning. Grading is done on my prep periods, and other activities I need to put together. I know many teachers bring their grading home, but you will rarely see me grading anything at my home. In fact, I think I have graded only once this year at home, and it was a quick assignment that took about 10 minutes. This does not mean I think teachers should not grade at home, this is just what works for me. So, I can see your principal's logic behind wanting the teachers to enjoy their evenings and weekends.
     
  30. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I disagree with the principal. As adults, we should be capable of determining our own limits and deciding what constitutes "enjoyable".
     
  31. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I always wonder how those who come in with the kids & leave with the kids get it all done. Then I realized that they are sometimes the ones who are taking work home. I, on the other hand, come in early (I love the quiet of the morning) and sometimes stay late. Sometimes I'm staying late to work & other times because I am talking. I try very hard not to take work home with me.

    I think we each must do what works for us.
     
  32. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

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    Jun 11, 2011

    Its Interesting

    To browse all these comments.

    I put in what I want to.

    I do not let the opinions of others enter into that.

    Last year we had to start signing in at 8:00.

    NOT being an hourly worker, I resented this and wrote down >8:00< even though I arrived at 7:15 each day.

    This put me on the outs with management because I was not writing the correct time on the sign in sheet (at the point of pen to paper).

    So I signed in at 8:00 (pen to paper), even though I had been on property since 7:00 (on most days).

    Point here is I am not working to make anyone else feel anything at all. I always do at least my job. I neither need accolades or awards for doing my job. If I go above and beyond what I am actually paid to do for my job then it is my choice and no one elses.

    We will all eventually find our own level of output and we should all do our job to our own satisfaction. If you cannot abide by the standards set at your workplace by your contract, then you need to find some place where you can.

    :2cents:TechnoMage
     
  33. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I had a hard time being accurate about when I precisely came to work. Their argument was for insurance purposes they needed to know when we were in the building. Something about how if something happened, then there needed to be documentation proving you were in the building at the time for worker's comp. I personally found flaws in that thinking, but that's what was said.
     
  34. ami6880

    ami6880 Companion

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    I have never stayed later than 6:30 even during my first year unless of course there was conferences or something going on at school. I am usually one of the first in the morning and one of the last to leave though. I don't feel like I overwork, but I have never been made to feel guilty for spending time in my room. I like to be organized and like some of you stated, teaching is my hobby. I was told recently from my principal that he is always impressed by my hard work. I told my bf that I don't feel like I overwork myself and he responded by saying "you probably just work harder than most." I think he is right, most of the people I work with leave when they can, not saying that they don't take things home or put in effort, but don't worry it will go noticed eventually by the right people :)
     
  35. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    *some* of the teachers coming in with the students and leaving when the bell rings either don't get it all done or are the ones that pop in a movie for the kids to watch so they can do it during class time. I've known teachers that just toss assignments in the trash because they are behind on grading.
     
  36. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I get upset when people judge those who don't stay around for hours and hours as "bad teachers." No one is following them home and seeing what they do there. Personally, I prefer to do my extra work at home on my couch in my sweatpants with the tv on then spend extra hours at school. If anyone were "watching" me, they'd see that I come in at the required time (30 minutes before school) and rarely stay more than an hour after school ends. During the majority of the school year, I worked at the afterschool program till 5 and was out the door the second that was over so I had time to go to the gym and make dinner. One day a week we also have required pd until 4:30. If I absolutely have to put in a ton of extra hours actually in the building, I prefer to come in on a Sunday (no one would see me doing this) when I'm not doing much anyway than stay until 8-9 pm on a weeknight. I'd hate to think of other teachers thinking I'm "lazy" simply because they don't know I do my work at other times. As for not putting in hour upon hour of extra work a week, I consider myself to be efficient. I know what needs to be done and I'm good about realizing what I can cut back on (lesson plans, etc.) I think I'll burn out far less than someone who spends every waking moment at school. If it truly makes you happy to be at school until 8-9 at night, and you don't feel like you just "have" to do this or that, than I guess that is alright for you.
     
  37. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Thanks for all your comments. The funny thing is I only stay to maybe 5:00. The latest 6:00. And I only arrive maybe an hour or 30 mins early.

    I need to just do my job/hobby and worry about anyone else. Plus it is obvious that the P thinks I am doing a good job.
    I'm going to continue doing what Ive been doing and not let it bother me so much.
     
  38. teacherheath

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    Jun 11, 2011

    Many of the teachers at my school stay late...usually 45 min-1 hour past contract time. Honestly, I've never heard anything negative about it. The only thing I've heard is sometimes teachers talking about the couple who leave on time every day--less of a criticism, and more of a 'how do they do that?'
     
  39. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I never feel bad about it. I feel annoyed that other teachers don't always carry their weight and then go out of their way to make it seem like it is my fault. That's their problem - not mine.

    I'm not a teacher to make friends. I'm a teacher to impact kids.
     
  40. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Jun 11, 2011

    I am like waterfall, I tend to take my extra work home and finish it up on the couch while making dinner or watching TV. I tend to think better at home. I know this is going to sound crazy, but I have a dog at home and he needs to go outside. We have to leave the building by 6:30PM. As I have moved along in my teaching career, I have found that I spend less and less outside of school time doing school related things. Everything comes easier and quicker. Even the creative lessons come quicker with more experience.
     
  41. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Jun 11, 2011

    I take a lot of things home to do on the couch with my tv but I mainly stay late to make copies, laminate, or straighten up my room.
     
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