Take Her To Cell Block 302!

Hauled in after summer vacation.

Hauled in after summer vacation.

That artwork is like a tone poem about what it feels like going back to work after two months off. The protagonist in the panel could easily break those manacles, and shrug off those clones’ lasers, even just straight up defy a Darth. In the same way, I could just…retire, or find something else to do. There’s nothing really keeping either one of us in our positions.

Yesterday’s post was about the basic unease before going back in, and this was about the feeling of having agreed to it, and being marched along to what you are supposed to do. I tried to go with a looser, sketchier tone, for no real reason than experimentation. She’s back in her black uniform from the last time she talked with Darth, about going back to the Edu-Mountain…it seemed to work, and thus far, none of you Gentle Readers have given me any “engagement” to work with here.

All of that said…the first day was charming, although non-school issues got it off to a weird start. The non-school issues will be in tomorrow’s post, to be sure. Today, I want to focus on the Good Stuff.

I made my way into school with a kind of willful doggedness. I wasn’t sure what to make of the students…I hadn’t met many of last year’s freshmen. It was kind of an unknown quantity. Very soon after arriving on campus though, my old students started to warmly greet me…sort of en masse. It was genuinely heartwarming. They all wanted to tell me how their summer was, what they had done, and about their schedules. More than that…for the first time in a long time, I was really quite happy to see my former charges, and take stock in their successes.

At lunch, the “Magic: The Gathering” club just…showed up. No announcement, no anything of that kind…it just was what you were supposed to do. We passed the time pleasantly talking about the summer, and new builds, and what we planned to do for the year. We debated, yet again, whether it was worth it to be an official school club. It was…really, really nice, and the half an hour flew by.

The whole day flew by. I gave the same boring “introduction to Tenth Grade English” speech five times, and went over the course requirements as many. I made the same bad jokes, time after time, but it was really enjoyable, and the students definitely met me in the middle, as it were. They were polite, friendly, and seemed interested in what might be happening. All in all, it was an excellent first day.

Still…even with all of that, after two months off, it felt just a little like the artwork. Maybe as I get closer to twenty years in (twenty!), that’s a thing that will start to be more pronounced. I’m not sure. I think in part it is because last year I had a very good year, overall…and on some basic level, felt like that was the apex, the high point. Like going back could only devalue it, or worse, not be as good by far, and be compared to it.

My fourth period class was bewildered by all the ponies. That, on it’s own, made the day worthwhile. We can only wait and see if the entire eight month mission carries the same positive tone as day one.


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