This morning, as soon as our nanny arrived to take Hudson, I made my Friday march down to my basement office, wadded up a hoodie for a pillow, and decided to sleep on the floor.x No, I wasn’t booting up my computer and reviewing my incoming emails, but I felt like, through the absence of actual work, my proximity to work might be enough. Maeby, who is unaccustomed to me being quite so literally on her level, responded gamely—gamely in the sense that she flopped right beside me so her whiskers could twitch against my cheeks while we both tried to rest.
This post has been sitting at the bottom of my brain basin for a long time, waiting to surface at the right moment. I actually wrote the majority of this post before the Mormon Facebook Apocalypse of 2015. Still, I’ve held onto this post. I think the time is finally right, as I confront the painful, vulnerable fact that I’ve been spiritually wounded. This is a loaded admission, one that opens up your soul to further misunderstanding, judgment, and (perhaps most terrifyingly and only in a few extreme cases) ire.
Last Thursday, I walked home from classes and saw traffic backup piling into an intersection. It wasn’t Times Square Status by any means, but there was a bit of kerfluffle, since it’s not an intersection that is usually very busy. It was easy to peer ahead and see the source of the commotion was a row of ambulances (ambuli?) huddled around a storefront, pulling someone out on a stretcher and loading him or her into the vehicle.
There’s something completely irresolute about finals week; as such, unless explicitly directed, I avoid giving final exams. Instead, I like to leave my students thinking about the final chapter of their high school career with something less final and more… open-ended, more upbeat. I want my students to leave my literature class thinking about morals and the self–because, at least for me, that’s what literature actually is–words that express morals and self, and those concepts can’t really be tested by an end of year exam.
Dear Seniors of 2015,
I need to make a tiny confession. You were already winners before the contest began, and you’ll continue to be winners long after it’s over.
I need to make another confession: I’ve been manipulating you to think that I am “The Keeper of the Words.” And yet, I struggle too–just like you–when faced with a prompt. And today, the cursor blinks patronizingly as I try to answer the prompt instructing me that somehow I must “Say Goodbye.”
I’m older than you, and by extension “wiser,” and I’ve got your captive attention for probably eight more seconds, so allow me a moment to share the thesis that you, your wisdom, and the time we have shared together has helped me to articulate.
This was me on my first day of teaching High School. Spare the jokes please. I know I look like I should be a high school student myself.
I’m a talker. I’m a sharer, as previously acknowledged. I’m an “experience the world through reliving it verbally” kind of person.
So it’s very strange, but I just haven’t really wanted to talk about my new job as a teacher very much.