Don't Look Too Closely
Then I teach. I teach vocabulary and spelling and phonics. I teach past tense irregular verbs and persuasive essays and literature. I teach cause and effect and confirming predictions and I encourage higher order thinking regarding a fictional immigrant father's assumption of bus driver authority in the American public school system. I teach how to read questions and eliminate wrong answers, the difference in answering the why when you were supposed to tackle the how. I provide the data necessary to update our reading goal sheets and our big goal sheets, and reward accordingly. I thank two students for arriving on time. I send a student to copy The Reality of School essay after repeated disruptions and tell him to use his homework to write it on becuase he previously demonstrated he did not value it as an instructional tool. I look around at one point and some kids are finishing comprehension questions, some are independently reading, some are prewriting an essay that we'll pick up later, some are taking reading quizzes, some are at the library or in transit, some are quizzing each other on spelling and vocabulary, and it's all fine. I teach myths and introduce the concept of point of view.
There is a basketball game. We underachieve. I get into it with the refs. Players whine about being hurt and I want to repeat to them something a coach once told me, about the difference between injured and hurt, but don't, because under one condition it is still possible to perform a sex act with one's mother, while under the other heading such activities are physically impossible, not just socially frowned upon. I don't offer this insight, beacuse it is not good to talk like that to 12-13 year-olds, even though I was spoken to in a similar vein and even though they will (clearly) remember the distinction many years hence. My losing streak now stands at 22 games and there is nothing funny or ironic about it.
The return journey is also 55 miles.
At home, I walk in the door and immediately shout three facts about Chuck Norris. I eat humos, whole wheat bagels, and Diet Coke and feel like a female undergrad. I grade for 45 minutes. I check email and my email sucks. I need to grade. Two hours of work. There is so much grading to be done. 8:30 until 10:30 and the week will be substantially better. There was two hours last night and it was good. I will blog and then I will work, while the West Wing and my housemate's thrash-core meld in the background.
Tomorrow I will leave my house at 5:45
I used to get these anxiety/ paranoia dreams, c. age 9-12. Maybe a dozen times. Asleep, I had this first person perspective of a landscape -- sometimes autumn leaves, sometimes sand, once something akin to the Windows "pipes" screen savers. The perspective would start to pan back and I would see how immense the view was, how it would never be possible to conceive of how big everything was, how the enormity of the finite built upon itself. There would come a deep escalating beat, like the Tolkien doom-doom from within Moria, and there would be the need to try and quantify what I was seeing, even as it became increasingly clear that this could never be possible. The enormity of the finite. I'd freak the fuck out, wake up panting and sweating and scared, and my limited capacity to explain just made everything that much worse.
I don't remember when they ended, those quasi-attacks, but every once in a while, I start thinking of the way my days lego-click into each other -- this masonry of an ideal -- of old Celtic strongholds, their foundations dripping in the blood of strong men, and of a scattering array of data-point days that stretch without end.