Decaf or Not Decaf? That is the Question.

I was trying to get some work done yesterday during my planning period. Instead, all I was doing was shaking myself and saying “Come on, Brad!” as my eyes rolled back in my head. I was so sleepy. So I made some coffee with caffeine.

I normally drink decaffeinated because caffeine can make my head hurt and can keep me from sleeping at night if I drink it too late in the afternoon. I’m also a little worried about building a tolerance and then feeling withdrawal if I should stop. But I’m noticing something about caffeine: it gives me amazing powers of concentration. When I drink caffeinated coffee, the rest of the world falls away while I focus every bit of my attention on the job at hand. Work, work, work, done! Then on to the next task. I couldn’t believe how much stuff I got done during my planning period.

So now I can’t decide. Are the risks of caffeine addiction, headaches, and sleeplessness worth the superhuman powers of concentration? I did feel very relaxed last night at home because so much of my day today was already in order. Peace of mind in exchange for physical pain?

My difficult choice.

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6 Responses to Decaf or Not Decaf? That is the Question.

  1. Lauren says:

    As an addict, I’m going to have to tell you to vote ‘no’. Perhaps at some point in my past it gave me laser focus, but now it is a substance I must consume just to stay alive. Keep it as a ‘sometime’ occurrence so you can have this novelty. Maybe get a t-shirt or button made that says, “I’m on caffeine today. Ask me to do your taxes!”

  2. Beth says:

    I’m with Lauren. I officially weaned from caffeine seven years ago after years of addiction. The withdrawal was brutal.
    Now I’m a “sometimes” person and I find it a much better tool.

    And I NEVER drink caffeinated anything after 2pm. Or I’m up All. Night. Long. And that is terrible. Of course 1:45 is fine, just not 2:01, because caffeine’s effects can last up to eight hours in one’s system.

    Also, caffeine makes one go potty a ridiculous number of times during the day.

  3. Carol says:

    Dropping heavy objects on your feet throughout the day should help with the alertness and powers of concentration without caffeine but might introduce a different type of pain or discomfort there. Tought decision, I admit.

    That dull headache on the left rear of my skull the day after Ash Wednesday tells me I’ll probably go back to caffeine only as a sometimes person myself, having gone cold turkey on it for Lent this year. Hot herbal tea covers the need for now, and when it gets warmer iced tea will be fine…and yes, I know most of that has caffeine, too, but for some reason it doesn’t impact me in the same ways. Go figure.

  4. Aunt Linda says:

    We drink half-caff since I began working full-time two years ago. They even package half-caff so you don’t have to blend your own!

  5. Lloyd says:

    I think you should take the plunge. Enjoy the new powers of concentration. Marvel at the focus and clarity. See the pretty swirling colors.

    Besides, when you eventually realize that is no longer helping you and you stop, going through withdraw will help you relate better to any students that you have who are battling with drug addiction.

    In short, coffee will make you a better teacher.

  6. Peggy says:

    Such a quandry!

    If you choose the caffeine, please remember to respect your new powers… many have lost control & gone the way of the dark side!

    Brad Royuk, mild mannered teacher or Supervillian Dr. Kahf Feind?

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