Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Old Pair of Pants

Let me confess: I don’t fit into my wedding suit. Well, I got married some four months after I had hepatitis and weighed 140 lbs back then, so that’s probably a good thing.  But that aside, how many 60 plus year olds do fit into their wedding clothes? We expect the years to fill us out some and mostly they do.

But today I returned to teaching at The San Francisco School after seven weeks away and lo and behold, those pants still fit fine. I slipped into them effortlessly and it all felt like the next day after that last one on February 27th. And though some kids gave me warm welcomes acknowledging they noticed I had been gone, some kids acted like it was the next day after our last class and that was fine with me.

How good it felt to play jazz blues with the 8th graders again and after two months without playing these tunes, they jumped back in like riding the proverbial bicycle. So fun to see the fabulous five’s and put together an engaging soundscape for The Three Billy Goats Gruff. And then to be up front with my old guitar in front of 100 kids eager (well, most of them) to sing. I pulled out the old Earth Day Rap for the occasion of Earth week and then had the sense to analyze each phrase and flesh it out so that the experience transcended mere rote “Pledge of Allegiance”-type recitation. And wasn’t that a pleasure?

Nice to reunite with my friends and colleagues James and Sofia even if we did need to forego the social pleasure of re-connecting in order to nail down the schedule for the next few weeks and months and even year ahead. On to carpool, such a great way to see each kid as they came to me to get their name checked off. And darn if some of them hadn’t grown an inch or two in my mere two months away!

And would you believe it felt great to be at a staff meeting? Something comforting about sitting around the table in the 3rd grade room and having a spirited discussion about getting more serious about banning cell phones during the day at school. A real sit-around-the-table discussion that we instantly tweeted, took photos and put on Instagram— not! We actually just sat around and talked! What a concept!

So thanks to the kids and teachers and the years of community for helping the old pants to fit so well and to feel such comfort wearing them again. First day back was great. Here’s to the next 33 (but who’s counting?). 

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