My friend Emily is a teacher's assistant in a seventh-grade classroom in New York. She wrote:
I still think vacation should have been longer. The New York public school system, they don't mess around. But here's a secret; when you're a kid, you think that the last day before school vacation is much, much better than the first day back. When you're on the other side of things, the opposite is true. I'll take this group of lethargic dazed children over the screaming hysterical ones of ten days ago.
Between classes, one of the teachers was trying to herd the kids by yelling "Learning; it doesn't hurt! Learning; it doesn't hurt!" I had to smile, because that's completely untrue. Learning either feels wonderful or hurts like hell, and usually both. Sometimes it's slow and excruciating dull pain, sometimes it's like a knife in your side, sometimes it just feels like your leg was asleep and it's slowly tingling and making you cringe and wish this was over already. But learning does hurt.