My first day back at school meetings did not begin auspiciously. I arrive late for the first meeting, a presentation about anti-harassment. This is important to help people be safe and turn-around the too-casual tolerance of bullying, sexual abuse, micro-aggressive talk and such. But once things get in the hands of the law or a systematically correct way to be with your colleagues, the humor is the first to go and everyone’s walking on eggshells nervous they might offend someone. Luckily, while everyone was nodding their heads during the talk about not hugging without permission and such, afterwards there was the kind of humor that can come when people know each other well and can relax, with the caveat that if someone doesn’t feel comfortable with a comment or a hug on any particular day, they’re free to express it and we all need to listen and take it seriously.
I then got into a little tussle with my two “Dream-team” colleagues. Yes, that happens. But we said what we felt, it hung in the air for ten minutes and then cleared away like a good rainstorm that washes the air clean. We went on to meet about the hundreds of details in our intricately connected lives, from school to courses beyond to performances to publishing and made some progress whittling that long list down. I got to meet some new teachers, re-connected with the old, had a hard conversation with a parent upset about some things her child experienced in the school (not in my class, so easy to listen). So though it was far from a conflict-free day, I found myself walking with a light step and an irrepressible happiness down in my bones.
I know I’ll soon have to stop blabbing about this being my last year and simply enjoy each day as if it was my first, but it both affirmed that indeed this place is still the right place for me to be and made my doubt whether I should leave! But knowing I can come back to sub or visit or partake in various ceremonies, I believe I’ll stick with my decision. I suspect much awaits me on the other side of that closed (not locked!) door and I’m eager to see what it is and enjoy it thoroughly.