Strange, isn't it? I had an awful morning with 8th graders today, and yet, I'm happy.
Perhaps it's because I'm re-reading R.F. Delderfields "To Serve Them All My Days", which is the book that made me decide I wanted to be a teacher, oh-so-many years ago. Like when I was 12. I can pick it up, and even though the last time I read it was 12 years ago, I can remember exact passages of diologe, as I laugh and cry my way through P.J's journey at Bamfylde, his love for his teaching and his family, and recall his joy, sadness and hope that I one day wanted to claim as my own. This book, even with all it's beloved Britishness, should be required reading for every incoming teacher. If it fails to move them, they should be scrubbed. This is "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" writ large, more so, for it's scope sweeps over the generations.
Or it could be that the weather had turned a bit warm today. The sky isn't even all that blue, but it's warmer than usual. Oh, I'm an old New Englander enough to know it won't last, not on 15 Feburary, when we've been known to have blizards in April, but it's a preview, if you will. A note that winter can't last for ever, and that spring will come, in all its glory. Its the kind of Febuary day when you look at the calander, and realize...hmm...Spring Training can't be all that far off, now, can it? It's the kind of day I would have gone to Doc Merchant's office, and said, "Gee Doc, how do the Braves look this year? What did you think of the Sox signing Coco Crisp?" And that brings with it all the hope and enjoyment of the potential of a new baseball season, when the boys of summer play long into the lazy evenings, and you can listen on the radio, and sip your lemonade and swing gently on the front porch.
Perhaps it's the warmth reminding me that no, winter can't last forever, and not only the winter outside, but the cold, cruel winter that I've been suffering in my soul. The uncertaintly of my employment, the frustrations of subsituting, and scraping along in retail. The knowlege that job openings are starting to appear, again, like flowers after a long, barren winter. I've applied to one already. There's one in my home town, that I would DEARLY love to try for. I may, even if I can't take it, since Salem is near an hour and a half from here. They'll be more to come, I'm sure. Hope is returning, and the knowlege that this could all be over. That next fall, I could be standing at the blackboard, like P.J. at Bamfylde, teaching history in doggeral (divorced, beheaded, died...), and relating juicy stories about our forebears to try and keep the layabouts awake.
It's not spring yet, but it's coming. And the true gift of false spring is hope.