Thursday, August 15, 2013

The first day of school

Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34

Sift, sort, stack.  My brain is fumbling for a rosary of sorts, the tranquility of a rhythm or mental lingering which encourages the faithful to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord.

Mild panic attacks rise up while angling through the muddle of nameless teenagers in the locker hallway or staring blankly as the loudspeaker reminds homeroom teachers to submit hot lunch orders.  The musical note signaling the end-of-class is so gentle it cannot be heard over the raucous buzzing between my ears. 

Breathe in, breathe out. The stack of unstapled rubrics, essay and in-class quizzes piles high (the inherited stapler choked time and time again in fits of crumpled chomps) against conflicting resolutions of immediate feedback and aching brain cells.  

This Youtube video clip would have both beautifully framed the question at hand and demonstrated my hip teacherness, if, of course, I could have download the most recent version of Adobe Flash Player (past perfect tense).

Humidity causes the office printer to misfeed every time, didn’t cha know? 

Why is my next class lined up in front of the room three doors down? Ah.  Switching rooms.  Ah, yes.  Grab that stack of papers and head out the door.  

But then I settle into the after-dinner couch with my pencil, some sort of makeshift roster, and a small bowl of leftover “when hell freezes over” birthday dessert (Nicole came to the literary bash dressed as a gleaming Beatrice). A familiar peace descends.  Paragraph by paragraph, my students sort themselves out with distinct voices and familiar patterns.  And tug at those dusty heartstrings. I smile in the margin with happy faces and happy notes: strong word choice, excellent example, and solid conclusion. 

Breathe in, breathe out.

Give me this day my daily bread.