03 April 2021

0 delight

that is the word i find best describes where i am, though giddy maybe works too. 

which is not to argue that things are perfect. 

i'm recovering from a UTI. there are 85 student essays to be read. in therapy last monday, we drove the car into the burning house of what happened in college and i had a panic attack mid-session. but we are all here and we are alive and we are living in the light. 

i think i repeatedly told debo and garebear that this apartment was west-facing. i thought they knew what that meant. 

but then i never told them about how, in the semester after ruth died, i went and sat on a hill alone outside the dorm and watched the sun set every evening. 

weird that there are things i've told my students and not my parents. 

i feel like that is the one word of the day video from that dreadful spring 2020 semester that garebear didn't watch. which seems about right. 

the class the colleague attended was quite possibly the most powerful class we've ever had in that time slot. 

each class, each show, has its peak. bizarrely, the 2:10, where attendance has been totally abysmal, has had two. the first involved four students; the second involved two. 

i know that what we're doing here matters. so fucking much. even as it feels the wheels are completely coming off the bus-- for them and me. 

it's shocking that we're still even trying to do this, i said aloud to a group of 18 years olds on thursday. the three people on camera nodded their heads; two people off camera gave a thumbs up emoji. 

how is claude? they ask me. is claude ok? in their rants they ask, they tell me they were praying for him and for me. 

there's power in disclosure, in being human. vulnerability as well, but, truly, it opens you up to so, so much love. 

i don't know that it's that i feel i need to be loved by 85 18-year-olds every semester, and i'm sure there are people who don't love me but take my class because it feels easy and i'm a known quantity with nice bookshelves. 

there was a student some weeks ago who, in her rant, said "we know we're your children," and i felt that with every fiber of my being. because, while i've never wanted kids of my own, these people are my people. and i think it's important that, in writing for me, they know that. 

3 1/2 weeks. 2 1/2 maybe even, i lose track. that is what we have left. of their freshman year and, potentially, pandemic teaching. 

it's been, 10000%, the worst of times. but i'm aware a door is shutting. what we've been doing, it's not sustainable. it's special, it's necessary, and it is entirely unsustainable. 

i'll be honest, i have no fucking clue what post-pandemic teaching looks like. i feel as though i was almost built for pandemic teaching. and, also, i'm aware, that the whole rest of my career will be spend with students who have been affected by this thing we've all been through. 

but these kids, my kids of 2020 and 2021, the fucking bullshit we have endured together. they are special, these people i have never met in real life. i tell them, when you see me on campus, you have got to say hello, because you'll know me but i won't recognize you, because, so many of them, i've not seen their faces. i know how they feel about pineapple on pizza and that their friend died last month, but i do not know their face. 

i actually didn't think this post was going to be about teaching. i thought it would be about my view, about living in the light. 

about sun and sunsets and the ending of the day and waking up without bars and always looking at ankles. 

i guess the moral here is we don't truly understanding the dark until we've moved in the light, but that seems cheesy and stupid and not at all reflective of where i am. 

tomorrow is easter. i'm skipping church. because it's going to be all about sin and forgiveness, and that is not where i am. that feels very very dark right now. i do not need to hear how i have been forgiven when what happened to me was not my own sin. 

so K and i are going to go for our weekly walk, around the memorials and the mall, from the red cross to the capital. 

it's funny how you can put down such deep roots in a place without even feeling it. so much of this feels the same as what's come before-- living and renting. and yet, here i am. in a room of my own with a view. 

it is like nothing that has come before. 

we are here, claude and i, and we are ok. continually, throughout the day, following the journey of the sun, we delight in our view. 

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