Who’s Counting? Six

I said I wasn’t counting the days until retirement. In fact, it’s been a point of pride for me. Look, I seem to be saying, I don’t know how many days are left in the school year and isn’t that special? But, as it gets close enough to poke with a stick and impossible to pretend, I thought it would be funny to do a series of countdown blog entries, to begin, as they say, to count the days. Maybe it would be entertaining or edifying, I thought, to make a record, to document the close of my last school year.

Here is a kind of bullet list record of today, 6 days away from the end.

  • My covid 19 booster #2 kicked in at about midnight, and, while my reaction was nowhere near as hideous as it has been for previous shots, it nevertheless disturbed the sleep in a big way. My brain was in a kind of nonsensical feedback loop from which I could not break free until about five in the morning. I rallied. I’m here, standing upright, but clearly not at peak performance.
  • That’s okay. My two groups of sophomores, due to a bizarre scheduling kerfuffle, had one more day than my other groups of sophomores. They had a choice: spend some extra time preparing for their final project on Romeo and Juliet, or enjoy (what they had been clambering for throughout the unit) the cinematic masterpiece that is Gnomeo and Juliet. Guess which one they chose.
  • While there are a few clever parallels and some Shakespeare easter eggs peppered throughout, watching this film had next to no educational value. Maybe that’s harsh. There’s always something to learn from a well-made computer generated animated film. And it had Elton John’s music in it. The students were happy.
  • My second period seniors have flown the coop. They were done last Thursday–so I’ve got extra time today to get through stacks of Romeo and Juliet journals, to peck away at this little entry, and to nurse my vaccination side-effect blues with some premium gummy worms.
  • Goals: get through my grading to-do list so that there’s plenty of time to get through the removal of 33 years of collected crap in the classroom to-do list.
  • Goals: listen to every album in the classroom record collection from start to finish once, moving backwards through the alphabet. First up: Steven Wilson’s The Future Bites.
  • Goals: begin the process of bequeathing things, to sign away “What portion of me be/Assignable–” I don’t want to end up like Steve Martin’s the Jerk on my last day, taking everything I can carry in my arms, unable to leave anything behind. This ashtray. This paddle game. These matches. This lamp. The chair, and the remote control. That’s all I really need.
  • Second up: Steven Wilson’s Insurgentes.
  • I burned through three piles of Romeo and Juliet journals.
  • For the second time, I signed a copy of Oh, The Places You’ll Go for a graduating senior.
  • I picked up a robe for the graduation ceremony.
  • Today is the last full school day of the year and of the career. That one refuses to fully sink in. Tomorrow begins a four day final exam schedule. I need to rest off this vaccination funk. Two different doctor’s appointments in the afternoon. Too toasty to play drums tonight. Rehearsal canceled. I get home and it’s nearly 6:30.

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

One thought on “Who’s Counting? Six

  1. I’m happy for you, but also sad. 33 years is a long relationship. Your school is losing an amazing gnome.

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