Monday, September 11, 2006

Living Large

Today sucked. Suuu-ucked.

The air went out at school and I was forced to wrangle fifteen ADD Sophomore boys in a windowless classroom. The unexplained nagging pain in my back stayed around for another day and I officially became weary of requesting that young men pull up their pants so we could no longer see their panties.

Yeah, I said panties. I found out today that at least two other teachers outside of my school say that to young men, so again I say panties.

I also started tutoring today and therefore couldn't leave work until 5:30 and so off I went, steeped in the lingering teenage funk of my classroom and ready to just be home.

And for a second, something in the mailbox saved me.

The director of my blessed summer Shakespeare camp sent a copy of the letter he written for my administration.

First, I cried a bit for the vivid reminder of our sacred Green World. Then for the complimentary nature of the words---this guy misses me? Lastly, for the list of names. I remembered looking at that list before I left.

Sitting in the hospital waiting room all those months ago, I read their names and worried. I worried that I wouldn't be as good as them. I worried that the huge burden of my Dad that I carried would be too much for them to take from a stranger and I wouldn't have friends for that month. I was scared. I was scared of Elizabethan dance class, scared of keeping up with the reading, scared to live big. Living in a hospital for two months had made me small. I'd learned not to show emotion in a public waiting room when everyone else had tragedy. I'd learned not to show emotion to my dad just in case he was conscious enough to be worried by our tears. I lived curled up in a ball, invisibly small. Those names scared me. In the end, they probably saved me.

My month in Massachusetts helped me find a way to live big again--impossibly big. I was so big there I could dance horribly and laugh about it. I could sing impossibly loud in voice class, I could enact the huge and public murder of Julius Caesar.

It was very big.

I'm living medium about now. I aspire to big and I'm working on it, but sometimes the brown world I know here makes me shrink up a bit.

It was so good to get that letter and be impossibly large again.


Anonymous said...

Go ahead and live a little bigger each week. You're on your way to bigger already. We are rooting for you!

Sandi said...

For the record, I say "panties" too, and have for years. (I hope that doesn't make you stop.) I worry sometimes when my 6-year-old son says it, though.

And you're as big as you want, or need to be, on any given day. (Not unlike water retention, I guess.) And some of us know that you can be freaking enormous when you choose to be--here's hoping that one day soon, you'll wake up and choose to be so. Your students will be the better for it. ;)

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

That was really beautiful. I bet you are seen as being larger than you think.

No matter how hard I diet-- I keep livin' large too.