Opening the Floodgates…Duck!

I keep on knitting together stories, plaiting together words or following those little echoes down winding paths.

I would like to follow them to the point where they make sense.  I think I’ll just continue to chase after these little moments, tease out my own sense of the happy endings.

Today was a day of reminders, a day in which I not only lost that annoying 0.2 percent of a pound but another three or four of their friends.

Consider this an eviction my demons.  Don’t come back.

I should be grading right now.  Maybe lesson planning.  Hey, how about reading something intellectually stimulating?

Nope. I’ve been playing round after round of sudoku.  I’ve chatted with the Girl about why it’s not polite to use the bathroom when someone is about to clean it.  I ate a popsicle and thought about filling my water bottle or doing some yoga.

Instead, I’m buried under my blanket and pretending that it’s close enough to bed time to warrant going to sleep right now.

Three weeks of school have elapsed and I have found the particles and molecules of the energy and self-confidence I lost last year.  All the questioning I did, the self-reflection and self-analysis that, I think, contributes to me being a good teacher wore me out.

And I mean…wore me out.  Shout it.  Scream it.  Whisper it.  I was worn.  I had overly-processed myself, had scrutinized every last lesson and every last bit of work I had my students do.  And I’m happy with last year.  But I never want to go through that again.

Last year, I was the old dog learning new tricks.  And I know that I will have to go through the process of re-creating a class from scratch, of doing new things that intimidate me.  I know that never is just as good of an invitation as saying “Please.”

I loved last year’s students.  I still love them.  Their English classroom, this year, is next to mine.  And, every now and then, I can hear their laughter surging through the walls and I smile to myself.

My babies are happy.

This year’s crop of students are amazing.  Hands down.  Amazing.  I can’t compare them to last year’s students.  Last year’s students weren’t just my students; in so many ways, they were my teachers and my mentors.  I was continually learning from them in terms of their needs, their expectations.  So this year, as I navigate through the lanes and lines of my career, I find that everything fits this time.

The question marks I had tattooed to my forehead faded away…became a constellation of freckles that are also fading as autumn begins.

This weekend, I wanted to go on a hike, might still do so depending on my daughter’s friend’s schedule (they want to have a sleepover).  I’m ready to burst out the door and plunge down paths, grinding dried leaves beneath my feet and inhaling the cinnamony, musty perfume of summer turned to fall.

A promise of winter.

The allure of spring.

Today, I alternated between chatting with students who are currently enrolled in my classes, chatting with students from last year, and responding to an email from a student who graduated four…(can’t remember) years ago.  Laura emailed me and I gripped my heart and held on to the edges of the tears and grinned.

Today, I touched the circle of my history, wore it like a ring around my neck.  This is not the one true ring, Frodo.  It’s my world, my life, my love, my joy.  I’m just blessed that I get to share it with someone.


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