Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Not the 1st Day of School

It's 8:25am.

Homeroom begins right now.  Without me.

Were I starting my 14th year of teaching today, I'd be taking roll amid a cacophony of teenage voices...

A gaggle of confused and sleepy 10th graders would be trying to make sense of their class schedules.  The room would be cluttered with new backpacks, new binders, a giant pile of student handbooks, and an envelope stuffed with subway passes for kids who live too far from campus to walk there every day.  At least one student would be outraged that the New York Transit Authority deemed his/her address too close to qualify as a true commute.  Someone would be scheduled for two math classes and no English.  An entire group would be slotted to meet their history teacher in Room 319 only to discover that Room 319 does not exist.  The new kid would be totally confused by the school's unconventional layout, and the ESL student would not understand a word I said, but he'd be way too polite to admit it.

At 8:30 the first bell will ring and I will not be there to watch the troupe of newly-minted sophomores pile out the door.  I will not be able to acknowledge the 3 or 4 inches I assume Rocco has grown over the summer.  I will not be updated on what Paul read over the holiday, or given a detailed explanation regarding the current shade of Chloe's hair, or informed as to who broke who's heart via Facebook.

I was in the school building over the weekend - collecting the last of my things from bookshelves and bulletin boards. The school was quiet and lonely.  Schools without students are like pizzas without cheese - pointless and uninteresting.   Today the kids are putting the cheese back into the rooms.

Yep.  I'm a bit wistful right now.

Instead of rushing off to 1st period, I am staring out my window and listening to helicopters buzz over Battery Park City and watching trucks traverse the Brooklyn/Queens Expressway.

What will I do with me today?

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