Lemon-Scented Bivouac  

Fatherly and, eventually, teacherly blather. Also: graphic design, baseball, synthetic fabrics, jug band music and, lord help us, the occasional politics.

Monday, May 10, 2004  

Trying to find my way back here ...

-- While loafing in the outfield of Agren Park here on Vashon, surrounded by woods, I hear one of the players on my crappy new softball team shout out, "Honey, are Ashley's dance shoes on the front seat of the Subaru?" On the other hand, our opponents and their many Parking Lot Friends are some weird, mossy mixture of jocks and stoners, who reach second base on a screaming line drive, stick out their tongues and flip odd signs at each other. Welcome to the Island.

-- Among the 12,340 thoughts about teaching that I haven't posted because I didn't post the first one and felt behind: You don't get to have the magic conversation. That one that cools off the student who sobs uncontrollably when stressed out, or the one who wants to be a Leader Man but instead gets caught shooting rubber bands, or the one whose parents are just divorced or may have a disease or are lonely -- you don't get to put your arms around them and say the magic thing that heals all wounds. In fact, you barely register. You just try to shine steadily, all day all year long, so the kids can see their footing as they go past you.

-- It's hard not to believe that even if we are not perfect our vocations are, or at least that some vocation is. I feel that way, without realizing it, about teaching. If you master the greater goals of teaching you are headed towards a place of completion, a natural culmination for a Mind Forever Voyaging. In fact, public school teaching may be a mostly-random assemblage of unrelated skills, most of which are bureaucratic in nature. That is if public school teaching is not, as John Taylor Gatto would have it, wrongdoing.

-- Elliott is drawing, talking and cracking jokes now. He's ticking off major milestones and he has a real personality of his own, albeit one that gets fixated sometimes. He looks like this:

  posted by Andy @ 9:15 PM §

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