Saturday, January 3, 2015

me today


With Mark Wahlberg and the spirit of Adam Yauch, in my classroom trying to catch up + get ready for Monday. 

I love my job teaching teenagers, but 'love' is a funny word. In our Poetry class, we call it taboo; instead of telling, show what love looks like. Feels like. Smells, tastes, sounds like. 

So. 

This is what my love looks like : a bulletin board next to my desk filled with handsome men and thoughtful quotes and notes from students, and an old laundry receipt from Washy Washy in Singapore; I bring what makes me smile, sigh, wistfully remember and pin it to my periphery for inspiration and joy and relief. My love also looks like tables arranged for seeing each other, a raised eyebrow, hands in the air, faces awake with thinking or furrowed with disagreement or blank with confusion trying to be alleviated. Sometimes it looks like eyelids fighting sleep because that's how life is, for all of us. 

This is what my love feels like : the shaggy velour pillow against my back in the desk chair, the push of tacks and squeeze of binder clips, a swipe of Lip Rescue, the smooth glide of Flair pens on papers, tension fading in a student's shoulder, breath catching in my throat during a discussion, the empty-building concrete cold that settles in my fingers and under my socks on days like today.

My love smells woody like pencil shavings, floor cleaner sharp, deliciously acrid like playing school in 5th grade with markers that made me lightheaded, Tropical Sorbet spray when the paper mill stench stretches up the hill, and meadow gardeny when I slather on hand cream at the beginning and end of every day. 

Love that tastes like black tea sometimes hot and sometimes lukewarm, fast lunches, secret chocolates in my desk drawer & stale emergency crackers in another, salty smoked almonds for sharing. 

And this love sounds like my IHeartRadio New Order station (Van Halen on Fridays), the daily grind of a pencil sharpener, a whirring projector, scraping chairs and teenage voices negotiating for seats, maybe loud, maybe quiet from the edges, powerful words put into powerful sentences, "Good morning, Mrs. Spencer" and "Bye, Mrs. Spencer, have a nice day."

I love my job.

6 comments:

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Once upon a time I wanted to be you, to have that classroom, so this post brings a smile and a distant yearning.

Glad you are feeling better!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

This feels like warm slippers, smells like bonfire smoke, tastes like the first strawberry in June's garden and sounds like a cello.

Janet said...

I love that you love your job! And what is the story with the old laundry receipt from Wishy Washy in Singapore? That sounds interesting!

Linda said...

What a beautiful poetic post! I just stopped by after a loooong absence from blog-reading and this just made me ever so happy that I did. I just watched a sweet movie from 2010 called "Beginners" - your post reminds me very much of how the narrator sounds in that film.

Stephanie Spencer said...

thank you, everyone :)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I am just going to let Green Girl's words speak for me on this.

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