Tuesday, August 25, 2009

bring it

The longer life is undescribed, thought unwritten, the harder it is to start up again. I've been reading, reading, reading--the BBC news, young adult books of all kinds, a travel memoir by Bill Bryson, The Paleo Diet because mom told me to--and the more I consume, the harder it is to create. Or rather, the more I read, the more I want to keep reading, and the easier it is to simply respond to someone else's thoughts instead of forcing out my own, unbidden. Foucault-like, I'm stuck in the established discourse; the longer I'm there, the harder it is to remember that I can write away from it.

Fall is coming. Mornings and evenings have a bite to them now; it's time for pencils and schedules and factory-style school bells and fresh-faced students. This year, I'm ready for it. Summer has been incredibly full, and I am ready to tackle another year. Even if my classes are huge. Even if my coworkers are being laid off as we speak. Even if I find out, less than seven days before the start of work, that maybe I won't be in the same building after all. What's happening to education right now sucks--and I just hope that people are keeping the students in mind as they negotiate and renegotiate and draw new lines and finagle their bargains.

It's the students I want--the living, breathing, learning, growing, amazing creatures who become new people before my eyes. I want these crazy 12-and-13-year-olds and the opportunity to in any small way help them figure out their way in this crazy world, the chance, cliche as it is, to make any small difference. That's what I want. To hell with the unions and seniority shuffle and quibbles about retirement and tenure and pay scale. Give me my classroom and my students.

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