Good Morning from California!
I’m sitting here in the airport waiting for a flight that boards in like, 5 hours. I had to get here early because that’s when the train was leaving! I’ve had a great few days visiting my very dear friend, Linda and her family. Linda taught First Grade next to me and recently moved here and this is the first chance I’ve had to come visit her. It was great spending time with a bustling, busy family working hard every day at their jobs and just trying to get the lunch boxes packed and the kids to bed with something healthy in their stomachs. Really good parents. Oh, and in case anyone wants to get all hustled and bustled about me taking two days off from work- it’s the third day I’ve missed in five years.
So it feels the perfect time for me to answer the #KInderchat #ce14 Blogging Challenge. The two questions asked so far are:
1. Who am I away from the teacher-self? and 2. Who am I as a reader? Well, let’s start at the end and work backwards.
2. Number two is easy for me. I don’t read. Ok, ok, I guess I do but rarely a whole novel or anything like that. I used to be an avid reader. High school English and Moby Dick in college killed that passion for me luckily and now I’m basically a non-fiction reader. Articles, stuff on the internet. Poetry, because it’s short. Music, because it sings the story to me. But no novels.
I remember the last time I was in California- a dreamy three week adventure that included a stay in the dusty, cool town of Ojai, where a book greeted me on the bedside table. Well, I wasn’t reading that! Fine. I picked up and read the first page. Next thing I knew, I had only slept mere hours and ended the book sobbing on the beach. Nah, I don’t want to do THAT again for awhile 🙂 Though, I do refer to the handy guide she included at the end of the book quite often.
1. Now for the harder question. “Who am I” OUTSIDE of my job identity. Well, this question is easier answered while I sit here in the airport watching all the people go by. First off, I’m not a man with the thingie in his ear or wearing a suit. I’m not the woman talking loudly on the phone. I’m not the sweat-shirted lady walking slowly laden down with bags. I’m not the beauty walking by with all the right luggage and shoes. I’m not the Mom with teens or strollers in tow.
I’m kinda quiet out there in the world-outside-of-teaching. I smile at strangers. I say “Thank you” to cashiers. On a good day, I’ll have a joke ready. On a bad day, you still get my eye contact. I think about the lady cleaning the bathroom at the airport. I think about her life and how she got up at 4AM to be here. I think about the man supporting his family on minimum wage cooking at the airport cafe. I think about his kid and their teacher.
I don’t know when humanness became an odd thing. It seems there’s two worlds; one of polish, veneer and another of all-too-real struggle and mess. You start thinking of all this stuff and then some kid walks by and just lays down on the floor and has himself a good old fashioned temper tantrum. It’s great. The kids always keep. it. real.
Who am I outside of teaching? Who are any of us? I think it’s hopefully a life long journey to find out! To think back at your stupidness, at your good moments while looking ahead to who you want to be next year and in five years. Of course, you are always the same person- but like a pearl being shaped by bits of sand, you evolve.
I know there’s lots I haven’t done in my life and there’s still so much I want to do. I’m so grateful for all that I have and for who I am and I hope I can continue to grow and be shaped by all those little bits of life’s sand.