The Second Worst Day in a Teacher's Life

Mr. Kotter: The first day of classes is the second worst day in a teacher's life.

Washington: What's the first?

Mr. Kotter: Pay day.

-Welcome Back, Kotter

I tried to go in with a positive calm attitude. Really. I did. I didn't meditate or anything, but I tried to believe that not EVERYTHING was going to go wrong. But if G-d himself had come down and blocked the way to my class room yesterday, my day could not have been a more hellish howling maelstrom of emotional torment. Although I am a non believer, my ability to get through such a day at least gives me pause in terms of considering divine intervention. If it was not for a dear friend arriving with tea and madeleines at a pivotal point, I shudder to think what would have happened. At one point in the ever unfurling awfulness, I was reminded of a story I heard this weekend. This friend of mine's sister got a dog in high school. Turns out her parents bought her the dog after she broke up with her boyfriend. (I am not going to delve into the symbolic content of that exchange.) A week later the dog was hit by a car. So they bought her another dog. That dog died after a month of some undiagnosed wasting disease. So they bought another dog, and another. Around about the fifth dog, the sister asked that her parents not buy her any more pets. It was just too painful. ( But at least she was probably no longer thinking about her idiot ex boyfriend.) When I heard the story I thought to myself "At what point does it become enough? At point do you walk away?"

Walking away has never been a strong suit for me, so I made it through my first day of teaching and now I have returned full force to entertain you with my wacky bunni hijinx. Let me say that it has not been uneventful few weeks (alcoholic agoraphobics not withstanding) I have managed to get a tan and learn the word "sun bunny" in Russian. I am in the process of scheduling my trip to Paris in August and scheduling the GRE. And, most importantly, I have been working on my writing.

Unfortunately, like the twit that I am, I forgot my notebook at home so I will be forced to give you a few highlights from yesterday. The Bad Buddhist, ever resplendent in his new crew cut, (oh yeah show me some scalp baby), which makes him look even more like a baby wombat if possible, walks up to me casually at the copier and says ( mind you after a 6 week hiatus)"So my mother is a hospital uptown. She just went into OR. It's going to take 2 hours to do the surgery. My brother and sis are already there. Should I go?"

Maybe I've been away from here too long, but I was totally floored. I wanted to channel Sigmund Freud and say, "Well, how do you FEEL about your mother?" But I was terrified about what traumatizing childhood memories might coming spilling out of him.

Later, at the copier again, a five year old girl walked up to me. She asked me how old I was. I told her I was 29. I asked her how old she was. "Five," she responded. She chatted with me a little bit about her birthday and her aunt's birthday. Finally she concluded, "Are you really 29?" I assured her,"I'm really 29." "When are you going to grow up then?"

It's a good freakin' question. I ask myself that often. When I am going to stop being such an idiot and GROW UP? But there seems to be no answer in sight. I continue to act like a degenerate 16 year old.

"Well, I guess some people don't ever really grow up. Like Peter Pan." "So you'll never grow up?" "It looks like that may be the case." I talked to her a little bit more. Finally her mother came, and it turned out her mother was one of my students from my first year of teaching.

I received an email from a new student, who could not attend the first day of classes due to a family emergency. Interestingly the email was addressed to Mrs. Bunni. How reassuring to know that I am married. That on a horrifying day like today I could look forward to going home and having a nice shoulder rub and hot well prepared dinner from Mr.B. OR, at the very least, falling asleep next to someone. As it is, the best I got was my cat licked my face while I was asleep.

And those were the good points about yesterday.

Somebody get me a bucket of martinis. I'm feeling a bit parched. In the time I've added some of you new visitors with comments to my links section.

And I have seriously considered blogging about the bad date, but I have many more adventures I have to fill you in on first.

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