So I spent a brief period of time as a middle school teacher.
Loved the kids beyond words.
Made a style guide for their quizzes, tests, and worksheets.
Taught a lesson on Avatar: the Last Airbender; beat and got beaten at snacktime Duel Monsters.
Stressed about how I wasn’t giving them my best, or that I wasn’t the best for them, which I felt they deserved.
Maybe sorta had a nervous breakdown?
As I suspected, it wasn’t for me.
I’ve always said my heart never truly left middle school.
Three weeks into the Fall 2015 semester and five minutes into the day’s class, a new student trudged into my senior seminar.
“Are you signed up?” we asked.
“Have been since last semester,” he answered, and glanced demurely at the notes on his neighbor’s desk. The professor had gone to retrieve something from his office. “We already finished a book, didn’t we?”
We nodded. He sighed, scratching the back of his neck.
“Just had two surgeries,” he said, “and it’s my girlfriend’s birthday, so right after this I gotta book it to New York. I missed the first sessions and used up all my absences in every single class.”
“So, you know,” he continued, “life is good.”
Hi, so, I don’t know what to do with my life.
“Could you please punch in your Student ID?”
Yeah. Wait, sorry, that was my social. Okay.
“Well, it looks like you’re doing great in all your classes! You could really do anything.”
“What have you been thinking about?”
I mean… I came in thinking about Linguistics. I like language and it’s really satisfying to solve problems in 201, but I don’t know what I’d do with the major.
“Hmm… You’re doing pretty good in Japanese, too! Are you enjoying that class?”
Sure? I like learning anything, really. Except math. An unfortunate class in middle school convinced me that I’m Not Good at it. So I gave up on computer science or engineering early on. …Does infotech have math?
“You should ask the School of Communication and Information Sciences.”
Well, I checked out the site. It looks okay. Everything looks okay, really. I’m just not particularly passionate about anything.
“What subject did you enjoy the most in high school?”
Why does that make me feel stupid?
I’ve kind of been dreading this.
Add to the list of things that I would call my favorite: my niecephews (the word is “niblings,” apparently).
It took two kids falling on my shoulder and wrestling with video games to hit the realization that people who love you are warm. My hands and feet are perpetually cold, so I like that very much.