14 6 / 2013
(I’d advise you to read it slowly, while thinking of someone you love, friend, child, parent, lover…)
Of the terrible doubt of appearances,
Of the uncertainty after all, that we may be deluded,
That may-be reliance and hope are but speculations after all,
That may-be identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable only,
May-be the things I perceive, the animals, plants, men, hills,
shining and flowing waters,
The skies of day and night, colors, densities, forms, may-be these
are (as doubtless they are) only apparitions, and the real
something has yet to be known,
(How often they dart out of themselves as if to confound me and mock me!
How often I think neither I know, nor any man knows, aught of them,)
May-be seeming to me what they are (as doubtless they indeed but seem)
as from my present point of view, and might prove (as of course they
would) nought of what they appear, or nought anyhow, from entirely
changed points of view;
To me these and the like of these are curiously answer’d by my
lovers, my dear friends,
When he whom I love travels with me or sits a long while holding me
by the hand,
When the subtle air, the impalpable, the sense that words and reason
hold not, surround us and pervade us,
Then I am charged with untold and untellable wisdom, I am silent, I
require nothing further,
I cannot answer the question of appearances or that of identity
beyond the grave,
But I walk or sit indifferent, I am satisfied,
He ahold of my hand has completely satisfied me.
08 6 / 2013
In a few days, I’ll finish my third year as a teacher. Graduation was last night, and my homeroom kids - the first kids I met at my new job - are officially done. The students I had my first year as sophomores, my second year as juniors, and my third year as seniors, have graduated.
At times I’ve been annoyed by the way my teaching load has changed every year (I’ve taught both college prep and honors level freshmen, sophomores, and juniors along with three different senior electives in just three years) but this week I’ve come to appreciate it, to realize the value of moving up with virtually the same students every year - I know these kids. I know their group dynamics and their individual strengths, their alliances and grudges. I’ve watched them grow from awkward, insecure fifteen-year-olds into confident, independent young adults. I expected, because of this, to be sad at graduation last night. But as I watched kids I taught give valedictorian and salutatorian speeches, as I watched the class president, one of my homeroom girls, bid her classmates farewell and good luck, and as I watched them all walk across the stage and get their diplomas, all I felt was happiness and pride.
Mixed in with all of that happiness and pride (and today just a little bit of sadness as the reality of not seeing those kids every day anymore sinks in) is a realization about myself and how much teaching has changed me. As I’ve realized the impact I’ve had on these students, who I helped in some small way to form into the people they are and will be, I realized how much they’ve helped me become the person I am now. This is the first year where I’ve felt the full force of my presence at the school. At graduation, I felt visible for the first time. I got hugs and tears and handshakes and pictures and emails this week from all kinds of kids, and I appreciated all of it more than those guys will ever know.
I’ve learned in the past three years that there’s no room for vanity in teaching, no time to over-think or be too self-conscious. I can’t hide in the shadows and hope nobody notices me. I have to be in charge - I don’t have a choice to do otherwise. There’s no one else to talk for me, I have to do it myself. Because of that, I am more confident in myself now than I’ve ever been in my life. I thank my students for pushing me, fighting me, challenging me, for being so smart that I can’t slack ever, even a little.
I’m going to miss these kids so much, but I’ll never forget them. (I am unashamed of being a sappy emotional cheeseball.)
03 6 / 2013
“A young girl, mistreated by her parents, discovers that she has telekinetic powers and uses them to escape her miserable school situation.”
I just realized that Carrie and Matilda have the exact same plot.
26 5 / 2013
"A teacher is in a position to acquire what few jobs in our society are capable of delivering—that special kind of immortality. A great teacher is never forgotten. Not at student reunions, not in the hallways or cafeteria of that lucky school where he taught, and most of all, not by the students who learned because a master teacher made learning a fulfilling experience. Such a teacher can have an effect on the lives of generations of human beings. A master teacher fosters a love of learning in the subject she teaches. That love may be transmitted to the students and on to the students’ children. From generation to generation, the inspiration of one superior educator transcends the limits of time."
I think about this sometimes and it totally freaks me out.
21 5 / 2013
And all of my Mainer kids are insisting on reading their lines in a (horribly, horribly bad) southern accent.
I don’t know why.
21 5 / 2013
There should be an educator discount on alcohol in May.
19 5 / 2013
Kids took them like two weeks ago so I absolutely have to grade them today because it’s getting ridiculous but I’m so tired I could just die.
Three weeks left.