In the Hall of the Old School

Yesterday I visited the school where I will be teaching, the school I graduated from 29 years ago.  So much is new and different.  So much is the same.  The mural of the hand holding the rainbow still brightens the stairwell (may it always be there).  The old wing still looks much like it did in my day, and it smells exactly the same as it did when I was there.  We opened the door to the classroom where I will be teaching, and one of my own teachers walked out and hugged me.  Did I dream this?  I can hardly believe this is happening.  I used to imagine it, twenty years or so ago, and here it is.

I do have recurring anxiety dreams that take place in a school.  I am trying to find the classes where I am supposed to be either studying or teaching.  I’ll spend the entire dream trying to find where I am supposed to go, going up stairs and through labyrinthine hallways.  I’m always late, sometimes at the end of a semester and realizing that I have forgotten to go to class.  Or I’ll be going to teach the first day of a class and realize that I have forgotten to get a schedule to know when and where it is.  Once, when I was teaching at Butler County Community College, I dreamed that I rushed in late to class only to see my dean teaching the class.  She said since I was always late, she’d decided to take over my schedule.  The thing I realized yesterday about it all was that the setting of the dream is always very similar to my high school alma mater.

In the past ten years, since I have taken a break from teaching, the frequency of those particular anxiety dreams has lessened.  Now that I am teaching again, I wonder if they will increase in frequency again.  And how will it be if the real setting is now overlaid on the dream setting?  And now that the reality has begun to feel so intensely like a happy dream?

Here is little poem that has nothing to do with high school or anxiety dreams:

You must have heard me prescribe hens
for a low self-opinion.
There is nothing like a little chicken worship
to make a body feel like a rock star.

But here’s the thing–
my chickens think that you
are a capital rock star, too.
“Look!” they told me this morning
when I looked in on them.
And I knew exactly
what they meant.

 

Gratitude List:
1. Love is the Answer.  Love is the Answer.  Love is the Answer.
2. That moment when we opened the door to my new classroom, and my own teacher walked out and hugged me.
3. Creating and envisioning new spaces
4. I am going to a book sale today!  I love book sales.
5. Going to vote with the kids.  As cynical as I get about whether this democratic ideal actually has any value in the oligarchy, I want my children to learn and experience the ideal with the hope that one day we will have a truer democracy, disentangled from wealth and corporate influence.  And we stopped at Turkey Hill and bought ice cream on the way home.

May we walk in Love!

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