me (standing before some people i can't remember): ok, so what do i do?
them: here, write a check for a 30 thousand bucks.
me: ok. here it is.
them: ok, now you're a teacher.
that can't be right, but through the fog of years, that's how it seems.
when james moved here to the mountain house in 2014, i was a little embarrassed when, while cleaning, we came across a GIGANTIC stack of work from the teaching program i went through, an expensive 9-month baby: the stack was at least 3 phone books thick. i flipped through as memories flooded back: i was the typist for the group bc of my speedy fingers. i was the note-taker bc of my quick writing & summarizing skills. i was... the overachiever, or more likely, the control-freak who ended up doing everything for group projects bc everyone else moved too slowly.
but even having seen all that work, i don't remember it that way! i was drinking back then, so maybe the brain cells associated with all my teaching school hard work are forever gone.
i do recall my 1st year teaching, realizing, nothing can prepare you for this! it's like on-the-job training! then, the 1st day of my 2nd year, it happened: the eyes in the back of my head appeared. supernatural!
nowadays if you wanna become a teacher, it's a different story. got a whiff of that when i went in, initially to try to sub. used to be if you had a pulse & had taken a little test called CBEST, you could sub. now a person has to pass this test, get on that list, fill out these forms, get those fingerprints, take a TB test & get a physical & get signed off by a doc, cart the forms down to bakersfield, wait for DOJ clearance... what? all this to SUB???
i went straight past sub to "real teacher" after that, thanks to the nice principal at my new school deciding me to be desirable due to my do-gooder work cleaning up that school's library in my then-free time. (had i already been in james's band, i wouldn't've been able to do that at all!) so pleasant to learn that, w/no intention of doing so, just cause i love books & libraries, i'd impressed the principal with the work i'd done. for fun & for free: that's one of the credos of my secret society of drunks, & it worked out in this case.
i count myself super-lucky bc now i'm gonna again be a teacher!
getting that going required a whole bunch more hoop-jumping than being a sub. somebody, the doc or the counselor, used the word "rigor" & the lightbulb went on: i need rigor to make this happen, fortitude, tenacity, stick-to-itness. i couldn't be a flaky part-time library worker, part-time musician & suddenly return to teaching. not nowadays! how much do i want this career again?
the nerd within was activated; here was the opportunity to get organized & responsible again, to prove i can still do it! not to mention to re-enlarge my knowledge base, ghave creative teaching moments, & work w/kids. to try to put this in place meant fill out more forms, complete TWO applications, take everything to bakersfield, get fingerprinted AGAIN, pee in a cup at a drug testing lab (trying not to laugh or ask too many questions & therefore look like a weirdo), send off for three college transcripts (CSUB was easiest, an e-transcript obtained w/snap of fingers; ULV was a little trickier; i opted to send request for NCOC transcripts via certified mail, since the school's no longer even open!), copies of credentials, three letters of recommendation, a 20-page PACKET with all the insurance & liability & rules & warnings & etc stuff, james's & my tax forms proving we're reeeeeellly married, three online classes supposed to be about 6 hours' length that took only 2, but STILL...
i hope tomorrow i will sign my contract. i hope tomorrow i will get to see my classroom.
hope is a thing with feathers, wrote emily dickinson.... here is the whole poem: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/42889https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/42889