I really love my job, and nothing could have proven it faster than taking it away from me. Driving up the lamp-post lined Copley Hill to the hundred year old brick building with a hummingbird mural and entering to walk the creaky wood floors to my classroom, the same one I have stood in surrounded by fabulous individuals for over two decades, was my day to day. I miss unlocking that door, greeting the quiet few who always arrive early. Now I get ready for class at our dining room table in the one large space that is kitchen, dining, and living room combined, with windows facing all four directions. Notebook to scribble thoughts for the day, laptop open to a dozen tabs, hot black tea at my elbow, I’m slowly working out how to engage for 45 minutes via a fuzzy and often interrupted google meet twice weekly with my students. Like everyone I know in the school system, I am nonstop problem-solving, whether with curriculum shifts, individual student conferences, talking to para-educators and special educators or with concerned parents. By 4:00 most days I’m intellectually challenged and emotionally drained. But by 4:00 what I’m mostly aware of is how much I miss my students. Miss that class room life. Not every second of it, but most every second with them and all their hope. All their blue sky action.
Maybe it’s the hundreds of poetry essays moving in red folders across my table in the AP Literature scoring room, or the company of hundreds of English teachers, all equally obsessed over words, but as soon as I saw this morning’s headline on a discarded newspaper on the conference center cafeteria table, my mind flooded with questions and outrage about gun violence. I don’t want to minimize this latest shooting (prayers to all involved) but… this is what will cause Washington to become stunned over the epidemic that has been spreading like wildfire in our communities?
School buses tie up the morning commute, meetings fill our afternoons, beach towels are folded into the back of the closet, as we all return to the hustle and bustle of routine. With the warm September temps here in New England, Autumn looms faintly, yet we must begin those chores that need to be completed before the first frost. And naturally, we begin to prepare our internal life too. Time to update your local yoga schedule. And go to a class. Install the Headspace app on your smart phone. And use it today. Plan your evening meal with convenience and health in mind. And eat well, quickly. Yes, it is September after all.
I thought about writing a post on the upcoming presidential election and the field of candidates vying for our vote, then thought, better not, at least not without a promising outcome. Same with the weather. You see it’s still cold this April, and even though a northerly wind is a topic to start the conversation, it doesn’t get very far without May flowers. I considered writing about my mother, who a year ago still called me, still planned family gatherings; and yes, did everything humanly possible to make every last one. But really, who would expect otherwise from her, a true party lover and planner? I mentally moved on to the topic of food and considered offering a new recipe, but as I avoid the kitchen and the stove religiously, recipes are hard-fought posts for me. I mostly beg for them.