Year 29 is over, grades wrapped up, classroom straightened out, and kiddos graduated! Time to celebrate all the teachers from coast to coast, and applaud a job well-done during this extraordinarily challenging year. You & me & all the rest of us: we did it!
How can I still be in a classroom, and still love teaching, even this year, you might ask? Well it isn’t necessarily due to anything particularly done by the greater public or certainly not all the ups and down of working around COVID protocols. There is just something that happens when, text in hand, I sit among readers and writers, and we talk complex characters or plot twists or even a last word, that just fuels me. We are in need of some hope, and whether plodding though Shakespeare’s Hamlet or being somewhat horrified by Shelley’s Frankenstein, or discovering the images and poetry generated during the short life of Basquiat, my student’s visions and imagery and words grant a faith in mankind I might not have found without them.
Historically I never stay down too long. There is something in my nature that beats back dark despair with a burst of frivolity and crazy. For this Nine Cent Girl that avenue back to light often involves some sort of photo shoot. Go back through my past posts in the fashion category and there is the sense of bursting from every photo. Not quite quiet desperation but most certainly standing on the edge. It was the same this week. War for one. Continued COVID fatigue another. General unease about the future of our planet under the direction of demagogues a third. Let’s not kid ourselves with naming one. They stand shoulder to shoulder in our Senate and rule with a recklessness I would not allow with my ninth graders. So, to combat ALL OF THAT, I allowed for a few hours of play.