Back again after a break to get my land legs this semester. I'm one of those creatures of habit. I love routine, so the beginning of each semester is torture for me as I fumble to figure out when I'll squeeze in my writing, my lesson planning, my lunch eating, and my friend seeing. I've almost got it figured out for Spring 2009, so I'll snatch a second to write.
I turned 24 two weeks ago, and for the first time ever I feel less like an emotionally over-wrought 17-year-old girl and more like an adult. Since I'm teaching at morning times this semester (which I love so much), I've cut back on week night happy hours, and I've begun watching the local news at 4, 6, and 11 then going to bed. Gotta make sure I catch all the subtle changes in the weather forecast, y'all. I've paid off my credit cards, and I'm sending out resumes to schools all over the place while simultaneously keeping an eye on educational funding, praying to Jesus that I'll get a job somewhere.
I've started praying again, but I don't think that means I've rejoined the flock. Hell, I never was a part of the flock to begin with. But something's gotta give in these hard economic times, and I'm not strong enough to brave the job market on my own. All I ask of God: get me out or get me through it.
I'm teaching my course on friendship this semester. It's going extremely well. I'm more confident in the classroom, feel as if I've convinced at least half of my students why studying friendship and it's social and historical implications is important, and, well, they laugh at my jokes. That makes me feel like I'm doing something right. I love this new batch of kids. I think their 101 teachers did a good job of whipping them into shape: they seem motivated, interested, prepared, and polite. Sure, there's some riff raff; you'll have that in any classroom. But for the most part, these kids care and they are so damned polite. Another thing I pray for is the ability to teach them at least a little something.
Sometimes I lay awake at night thinking about my teachers. I can remember little things they said to me or wrote on my papers, things I'm sure they never gave a second thought to. Donna Bowman told me to put my thesaurus up when I was her freshman. Monda Fason told me to take chances when I was her Vortex editor. Lisa Mongno told me in college, one ceases to be the smartest kid in school because he is in classes with the smartest kids from every other school. These are things I've internalized, rules I live by. Chunks of wisdom that continue to guide me in my academic and personal lives. I wonder what, if anything, I have said that will stick with students forever.
This idea is something I want to explore in greater detail in a later post. I want to tell you the Jordan Lance story. But now, I have to run to poetry workshop. I look forward to hearing from y'all.