Friday, August 01, 2008

The Ides of August

The glories of being retired from teaching are innumerable. One of the best occurred this morning. For 36 years, the act of flipping the calendar from July to August instantly produced a knot in the stomach that didn't go away until mid-September, or roughly four weeks into the school year. For me, summer started on Memorial Day and finished with thud on August 1.

This uncomfortable gnawing away of my usual good nature occurred on the 1st even though there were 2-3 weeks of freedom still left in the month. Any joy of lingering freedom was diluted by the reality that hanging over me was the huge unknown of the next group of 150 students I'd be teaching and whether they'd be crazier than the last bunch. Also hanging on the pendulum as it steadily approached my neck was the knowledge that I would soon be stepping into a state of exhaustion, broken only by the heaven-sent holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Ironically, I now look forward to the start of school. I've got a new bus route, a new bus, and another new group of fairly brilliant Rangel students to get to know. Also, I anticipate the new year if for no other reason than it means cooler weather can't be far off. Because as I type this, it's around 100 with a heat index about 400. So bring on school, cool weather, and the relaxed stomach. Tee-hee!

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