here it’s so late and im in my striped skirt, ready at 11:28 pm to get up at 6:15 am. i’m kissing my cats, whom i’ve missed, whom i am seeing for the first time since 7:15.

i went out after work, at first to meet Tim, after tracking the progress of the three sections of English I classes. i listened to one of the IMP people tutor my SAT Prep English student. Id advised, “Use context clues and positive/negative connotation to narrow down every answer ‘till you have a fifty-fifty shot.” i haven’t taken the SAT’S in years. it’s out of 2400 now. what do i know?

i took notes when i when out with Derek which was an hour after i went out with Tim. Tim left me and i was alone and so i called Derek I was in my Dorothy of Oz shoes, in my black tights, thinking ahead to walking alone to Mount Washington. so i called Derek

I knew the time, my father kept texting me about the Sox and the O’s, and i knew the games ran late. but i talked about Portland, and the difference between Seattle, Dorothy Parker, Joe Di’Maggio, and bad girlfriends. i wanted to not be hyper from my allergy medicine. i ordered more wine, and he ordered more squash. i asked why he liked my old friend James more than he liked me. he used to pay for his drinks and dinner i asked, “why didn’t you pay for mine? ” he acted like he didn’t understand.

i drove to my place with my glasses half on, half falling off. i thought a cop would stop me any minute. this is what its like to teach. i’m sick, my throat hurt, but i promised myself it would get better. and it did, until the students arrived. then it was yelling, getting them to sit up, to hear why i was teaching them about paragraphs. “you have to know how to write a good paragraph. it’s essential. how can you write a 5-paragraph essay if you can’t write the first?” at first they listened, but then they talked. i felt like a frog was crawling up my throat.

later, i felt i’d got to them. “they understood,” i’d thought. but then i looked up. on my ceiling were 30 paper airplanes that some students had thrown. i must have cared so much about my own point, that i hadn’t seen.

i gave the two boys who had been tossing papers up into the air, detention. ii waited after school for them . i was sifting through their papers, all of the students. i was measuring their abilities, analyzing what they had learned from what i had taught. one of them came after school and he was sweet. he even got up on his desk to help pick out the paper the ceiling.


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