Tuesday, September 2, 2008

On the Next Few Months

Today was the first day of school.  Sort of.  Today was the first day of teachers sitting around, setting up their classrooms, checking student's names against the inter-teacher database of "trouble students," and reacquainting ourselves with our friends made last year.  In our first faculty meeting of the year, we all sat together in the library.  When you put a bunch of teachers together, you'd think that the collective minds of academia would have nothing to discuss but the newest works of master authors or the area of circles; but no.  when you put teachers together, you get high school with bigger people.  Everyone has their own little clicks, their own inside jokes, their own things to do.  There are the overbearing teachers, the overachieving teachers, the overeating teachers, the cool teachers, and it goes on.  But we all share one common fallacy: we all think that we are about to embark on some kind of learning experience where the students are ready, eager, and willing to gobble up everything that we say, to leave our rooms each day beaming with contentment at having learned.  

Then you realize that's all bullshit.  No one actually cares what you have to say and all your passions have been wasted on kids more obsessed with skateboards than Shakespeare.  You really can't help but laugh; they are just in love with themselves.  They're teenagers.  There is so much that they'll be missing.  

Still, there is something bittersweet about leaving behind such an excellent summer.  This has, honestly, been one of the best summers (even if it did take until the last two weeks to achieve that status).  And I, like so many others, do not feel ready to let it go.  Yesterday as I was walking up North Beach to the shack for a lunchtime nap, there was a feeling that the summer was, in fact, finally closing out.  When I came back in an hour, there was nothing but sad oldies in the WCBS-FM 101.1 Top 500 Listener-Voted Memorial Day Countdown.  "Glory Days."  "Let It Be."  "American Pie."  It was an utterly depressing two hours.  I worked out on the beach for the last time on my afternoon break.  A little jog, some sit-ups, a push-up set.  My heart just wasn't in it.  When I came back to the stand, put my belt on for the last time, I had a feeling of moving on.  Turning in that same belt at the end of the day, seeing everyone together as guards for the last time.  It was hard this year.  Yes, I'll be working weekends, but that's not the same.  It's skeleton crew.  

 On the ride home yesterday, listening to some songs from the slideshow, it all melted away.  I thought about today, about being in the library at school and seeing all familiar faces, the challenges to face, the faces of the students' half asleep Thursday morning, and it came together.  This is not going to be a problem.  You can do this.

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