Monday, May 21, 2012

Wow! It's over! I leave Oakland on June 5th. In the meantime I have a long list of things that I need to get done to be ready to go. Packing and mailing and closing accounts and selling my bike, finishing grades, car stuff, and seeing people on my way out of town. On Friday I'm taking the cats to back to San Francisco for the summer, to be with their previous owner as I'm off gallivanting around the country. Come September, after settling in to my new place in Lafayette Indiana, Amy's going to put them on a plane and send them out to me. In theory. Of course they don't know this. Possibly, can't know this, but we have five more days together.

School ended well. My Thursday class was as usual, fun to be with and they did good work on their presentations. One of the best (most attentive, talkative, academically accomplished) classes I have had at the Academy, and it felt really good to be done with that class. On my way back to BART I sat in the Larry Halprin designed park just off the Embarcadero, smoked a few cigarettes and watched the sun disappear behind the buildings. Glowing. It really feels like I accomplished something in the last six plus years of teaching. Not as a teacher, (though that would be good, it's hard to know really how much or little I've impacted the lives of students,) but more so personally, that I've come a long way as a human.

Teaching was so hard for so long. Every class was exhausting and stressful. In the summer of 2010, after coming back from my second mediation course, I rewrote the rhetoric class, and ever since then teaching has been different. Something about the combination of being physically comfortable in the front of a class and the realization that students engage when they are challenged, just like everybody else. Being nice is nice but being consistent and holding people to expectations is better. For my Friday class, my official last class, I will have to fail four students when I do grades later this week. Speaking of which, I need to get on with things this morning. Happy Monday. Happy Summer.