Posts tagged ‘teaching’
although i was raised by hippies and have some lovely pagan friends, i’ve never been able to use “witchy” in as fabulously flattering a way as i can when i use it for friend fifty-eight. a fellow paraprofessional at a school in san francisco, friend fifty-eight always impressed me with her caring, wisdom, calmness, beauty, and artistic talent. bringing a love of the ethereal and the natural to the students at the school, friend fifty-eight is a wonderful gift for any school to have, and i miss working with her.
yesterday, my girlfriend burst into some of the biggest laughter i’ve heard from her in a long time. “i’m not sure if this was meant for me or not, but friend fifty-seven just sent me a text message that said, ‘fuck, now i can’t tell the difference between celery and green onions.'” for this, i will be forever grateful, because we’ve been having a sad time in our house, and things that make her laugh make me happy. and i don’t care if he can’t tell the difference between the two as long as he leaves them both out of my food.
for about a year, i really only knew of friend fifty-seven from word of mouth– he was the teacher in the class that my girlfriend worked in. cute and/or distressing stories of kids and the amusingly aloof music aficionado of a teacher made it home regularly. later, she started working as a teacher at the same school as his fiance and so i’d get to hear stories about him as boyfriend as well– impulsive tattoos and leaving when the house was full of crafting women further filled out my perception of someone she clearly liked and respected.
we got invited to their wedding where we became “the dancing couple” at the reception (later learning, though my girlfriend had suspected, that the party music standards we were dancing to, were not actually the songs they had carefully, meticulously, and artfully chosen). we’ve hung out a few times, and our various shynesses and social awkwardnesses, as well as our very different interests, have not made for the best conversations. but i know that he enjoys my facebook posts about watching “wings” so i feel a little less awkward.
friend thirty-eight and i worked at the local quaker school together. i was in an office and she got to work with the kids. i was a little jealous of that and also a little awed by her tremendous joyful energy.
i’m 31. friend twenty-seven isn’t.
we met in our special education credential program, and from the first moment, she was setting up fun social things. there was so much fun in that program, and mostly because of her.
a few weeks in, we were assigned “share bags” where we brought in stuff from our lives that said something about us. she had all of these pictures of her friends dressed up and doing silly things, and i told her that they reminded me of me and my friends when i was younger. she said i could still be doing those things.
friend twenty-seven, who i will refer to here as “amanda jo,” not only has lots of fun, but she’s also one of the more organized and smart people i know– when working with her on a project, you always knew it was going to be done and it was going to be good. and that it would probably make everybody in the room laugh.
and in her free time, when she’s not out having superfun with friends or organizing or teaching, she’s making stuff– fancy treats or crafts. she may possibly be the next martha stewart. but more fabulous.
one of the youngest people on my facebook list, i met friend twenty-five, who i will refer to here as “amanda c.,” when she came in as a high school tutor for my second-grade after school class. they loved her, a young chinese-american like them, who was smart, fun, and who sometimes came in fancy outfits that the girls really admired. i was always so glad to have her in my class because the kids related to her and she was really good with them. she hadn’t worked with kids too much before then, but i was impressed with what she did in my classroom, sometimes more than with what i did. it’s been 4 years since then. she’s off doing grown-up things now, & her enthusiasm for life in her facebook posts is contagious.
friend twelve and i met working together at a high school. we were both new teachers, him going from a business background into a new gen ed teaching career, me moving from an elementary school special ed aide to a high school special ed teacher. we were both overwhelmed and confused, trying to meet our students and their diverse needs that were always more intense than we expected, with grace and respect. we both had really hard jobs.
and if i thought i had it bad, he was out there not only teaching like crazy, but also raising two kids. some days he’d bike miles and miles to work, on other days he’d bring in his ancient car filled with toys, unafraid of any breakins due to the shabbiness. any time i felt sorry for myself, i thought about all the hard work he was doing and realized i didn’t have it very bad.
and the thing is, amidst all of the ridiculousness that comes with the territory of working at an underfunded urban public school, he always met things with humor and a smile, even if he then promptly ate a handful of almonds and put his head on his desk with exhaustion.
the crew at the school were partiers. in retrospect, i realized our relationships to each other were like people in a war together. it was a difficult job and it built deep bonds and a deep love of the drink. we always tried to get him to come out with us on friday nights, but he rarely would because of all of the other things on his plate. but his presence was always one that made the night extra fun, when he did come.
friend twelve is just one of the world’s genuinely sweet guys. tall, geeky and tattooed, he’s a joy to be around, and when we realized that we lived quasi-near each other, he would sometimes give me a ride, dropping me off at the amazing farmer’s market that we both loved as he went to pick up his boys. i enjoyed the rides with him not so much because it shortened my commute, but because we always had good talks. i don’t live in that neighborhood anymore, or teach at that school anymore, but i wish i was making more time to see friend twelve.