Monthly Archives: September 2007

Reason # 277

C: I hate days like this, because it’s unclear…what shoes to wear.
(Pause.)
C: It’s damp and gross. It’s…foul and fetid. It’s…hang on…I got another one in me…
(Longer pause.)
C: Do you have any stinky shoe spray?
Me: No.
C: I don’t think I can wear these without something to mitigate the stench.

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On Top of the World

“Wait’ll you see this place,” J murmured as the elevator rumbled to the top floor. His nine-and-a-half-month-old son gazed at us from his hip. They were visiting from Munich, where J fled after a traumatic year in the Teaching Fellows.

The elevator landed with a thud, and he wrestled the apartment door open with one hand, revealing a skylit library with 12-foot ceilings and enormous potted plants. “Whoa,” we breathed, calculating how we would fit our lives into what turned out to be a generous foyer. Continue reading

Holler at My Teachers

I keep Googling them, and nothing comes up.

Hear this: All Ye Amazing Teachers I Had the Luck to Encounter as a Youngster:

You know who you are. Your names are below. If you exist, I have this to say: THANK YOU for being a brilliant teacher. For taking this job seriously. For being a comfort and inspiration when I stare at a sea of blank 14-year-old faces, wondering what the hell I’m going to say next, wondering who I think I am trying to teach somebody something. Thank you for your honesty and flair, your humor and patience, your idiosyncrasies. For telling it like it is, for treating me like an adult, for teaching me that to let someone know you’re listening you have to look at their eyes, that to curse was unimaginative, that you have to project all the way to the back of the auditorium when you sing. You are stuck in my mind, my craw, my heart; unforgettable, true.

Mr. Martin (4th Grade: Alvin Dunn Elementary)
Bruce Altschuler (6th Grade: Alvin Dunn Elementary)
Mr. Rogers & Ms. Orahzda (Directors of the Alvin Dunn Elementary Chorus)
Nancy Cunningham (a.k.a. Elizabeth Ashworth?) (7th Grade Humanities: San Marcos Junior High School)
Mr. Smith (8th Grade American History: San Marcos Junior High School)
Mary Jane Vierra (8th Grade Communication Arts: San Marcos Junior High School)
Heidi Schipp (English: San Marcos High School)
Vicki Behrends (Drama: San Marcos High School)
Jerry Franklin (Western Civ: San Marcos High School)
Madame Heyman-Hogue (French: La Costa Canyon High School)
Ms. Afzali (P.E.: La Costa Canyon High School)

I would add Barbara Dagman (AP English Literature: La Costa Canyon High School), but she already knows it; we’re friends and colleagues now, can you imagine?

And P.S., Denise Lehr (AP English Language: La Costa Canyon High School)? If you’re listening, I’m sorry I was such a pain in the pretentious ass. I think you had us your first or second year, and we were so snotty. YOU TAUGHT ME HOW TO LOOK AT AN AUTHOR’S CRAFT. You taught me close reading with that excerpt from The Scarlet Letter, and I never looked at literature the same again. Also, you were so organized, and you did it by hand! And I loved that you had us journaling in the mornings. Your class was one of my favorites, and I was too self-obsessed to let on. Forgive me.