Skip to main content

first date

I have been dating Shaun for almost 11 years now. It has been a long time since I have had a first date.
The first few days of school are as close as I get ( or want to get). It is like a week of 150 first dates. It is an odd comparison I know, and no bad jokes about "dating" my students please... ( ick and I want to keep my job). Bare with me and I'll try to make the connection.
They stumble in on that first day. We are all shiny and new and wanting to impress. There is an awkward eagerness( even from the teacher). Some of the kids ( just like some first dates) are trying too hard to impress, a few......the ones sleeping are not trying hard enough ( actually I think they might be trying to appear like they are not trying.) Some are too wrapped up in themselves to care what I have to say. Others are just trying to see how far they can get. (use the metaphor here...not literally of course).
For the most part we are on our best behavior. All teachers are really good teachers the first week. We don't sit down or show movies or "wing it" just yet. We haven't fallen behind on grades and our room is clean. Most of the students show up on time, with supplies ( even better than flowers!) and gasp...even their homework. The conversation flows awkwardly. The class is still getting to know each other and only a few are confident enough to join in discussion. We are still pulling teeth. In a few weeks I will not be able to shut them up. We will get comfortable. Our guards will go down. The need to impress has worn off. We will run out of new clothes and new tricks and our honeymoon will be over. Issues and conflict will arise, but so will the real business of learning.
I would kind of like to stay here for a bit. While we are all still on our best behavior. But it doesn's work that way. Just like I can't refuse any 2nd or 3rd or 100th dates with these kids. They are mine for better or worse. At least until May.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

preachers and parades.

Months ago, I sat in a pew and tried to not think about the fact that you could count on one hand the number of white congregants in the room.
And I was one of them.
 I did not want to draw attention to myself, but despite the fact that I have been to church most Sundays of my life, I had no idea what to do. When to sit, stand, pray or the lyrics to any of the songs. The rules here seemed so different than my own church, just a few miles away. Filled with people who mostly looked like me.
 A few elderly African American women were seated next to me and were kind enough to attempt to make me feel welcome and tell me what to do. At some point Eunice, in a bright purple dress, slid her arthritic hand on top of mine, squeezed and tugged me to the front to pray.
 I let her lead me, because I didn’t how else to respond, and because she seemed so genuinely glad that I was there, singing off key next to her.

 It was not lost on me, that my slight discomfort was one of choice and ended just …

The annual REAL Christmas letter

One of my favorite traditions for a decade has been to sit down and try to write a REAL Christmas letter.  Not just the highlights, but a few honest moments as well. It started as a joke with one of my friends, thinking how refreshing it be for people to share more than just their perfect lives that we are used to seeing on Facebook and Instagram. It would be way more truthful and a whole lot more entertaining. Last new year, I had a friend ask me to come up with a word for 2018. I joked that my word was just going to be “done”. I was partly kidding, partly serious. The year ahead seemed daunting rather than full of promise and resolutions.  I had so many things to finish in the upcoming year that I needed to be “done” with: my degree, my job and my thirties. A few weeks later, my friend showed up with one of those string bracelets with the metal word “done” hammered in the middle. I wore it often, especially in those home stretches. Not taking it off until I had my last chapter writte…

a mustard tree

The prosperity gospel has always made me a little sick to my stomach.

Not that I don’t like the idea that if I ask God for a Cadillac, or big screen TV or new wardrobe and keep asking and have enough faith. That God will deliver.
Trust me, I like stuff. A lot. It is kind of a problem for me. And for most Americans.
But. I don’t think God particularly wants to give me a big check or TV or new car just because I believed enough that he would.

Because what happens when he doesn’t come through.
What if the check doesn’t come.
Or the test results are negative.
Or when the phone rings in the middle of the night.
Where does that leave my faith or my God.
Is it big enough to still believe after that?

And because I think there are plenty of people out there with way more faith than me.
Living with way less. Praying really important prayers. That aren’t always answered the way we wish. And that it has absolutely NOTHING to do with faith. But mostly about a really big God whose timing and goodn…