Thursday, November 29, 2007
What Everyone Calls The Real World
The other day a student dozed in my class as if he were on an airplane, head back, eyes closed, drool slipping out of the side of his mouth. Back in my younger days, I would have kicked him or hit his desk or said wake up and get out, but now I don't care at all and let him sleep until he woke himself up by slipping out of his desk and falling on his pile of books much to the laughter of his fellow classmates. Punished by the sin instead of for, just as God intends, and he asked a few questions, all of which had just been answered while he dreamt of God knows what. I said, Skippy (not his real name), You were in sleepytime when I addressed that which is why everyone is laughing. But I don't blame you -- I'm bored by myself too. I'd sleep through me as well. He got visibly angry, a strange reaction since I thought my response was fairly self-deprecating and true. I've been teaching long enough to know that I'm not God's gift. At best I'm a white elephant present that's been passed around the party a few beats too long.
Sometimes I'd like to divorce myself or at least get a temporary restraining order. I've been doing the same thing long enough to feel like a stripper on her last shift at the Bada Bing, twirling around the same pole, asking the same questions to the same audience. Did I miss anything? No, we sat around and braided each other's hair. Etc. There's only so much you can say. But lest you think I don't love my students, that's not the case. I adore them. What I hate is myself, playing in a role less engaging and longer running than Cats. Someone, not a teacher, told me the other day that I should love my job, that I was shaping the future. This self-righteous asshole got my death stare. I used to use it in class when I wanted to bring in order, but now I find it's better suited for my own purposes in what everyone calls the real world. But when you find yourself in a classroom with all the pain and sadness teaching writing brings in both you and your students, it doesn't get much realer than that.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"When I'm in Europe, I'd rather be in New York and when I'm in New York, I'd rather be in Europe. I'm never happy where I am." Woody Allen
Drinking scotch suggestion: Oban
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday! Congratulations to my Pistons for trouncing Cleveland last night at the Palace! And a special hello to my lovely friend Nina!