Saturday, January 4, 2020

First day of school

First day of school, and I’m running late. A friend agrees to give me a ride, but stops EVERYWHERE — drug store, coffee shop, bank — because he has “errands” and then I realize he’s also picking up fares as an Uber driver! Meanwhile, it dawns on me that I have done ZERO class prep: forgot to order books, forgot to print syllabi — in fact, I’m not 100% sure just what I’m teaching or where. Somehow I finally get to the classroom, a giant theatre-style space I’ve never seen before, I’m late, the class is standing room only and they’re angry with me. So many faces I can hardly focus on any single one of them. The room is silent. There’s a mic at the lectern that I can’t get to work, so after an excruciating minute or two I start half-shouting, trying to “wing it” and see if I can figure out just what this class is supposed to be and how I’m going to fill the time since I have no handouts and no roster and no idea of what I’m up to. As I’m speaking a kid stands up in the front row and starts doggedly reciting the morning news. I try to speak over him, then stop for a moment and realize it’s the radio and wake up. 

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You said something that moved me and in spite of myself a few small tears (furtive but unmissable) traced paths down my cheeks These were ju...