Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Feeling Strange

This is the first fall in ten years in which I didn't head back to school with everyone else. It took me three years just to figure out how to be a student, so I feel lucky to have finished at all. When Michele started classes a few weeks ago, and most of my MFA friends found teaching positions in various and sundry parts of the country, and my mom gritted her teeth and started her last school year before retirement, I felt strange.

I felt like I did that day in first grade when I missed the announcement for my bus, and subsequently missed my bus. I had a few options, and even as a first grader I solved problems in unorthodox ways. To solve this problem I got on another bus that I'd seen go past my bus stop, figuring I'd get off as close to home as I could and walk the rest of the way. The ride was uneventful, and when the bus stopped at the trailer park a couple of miles past my neighborhood I stepped off, ready for a long walk, armed only with my Blue Falcon and Dynomutt lunchbox.

Then the situation got really weird. My mom was waiting for me at that bus stop, the one that was not my bus stop. We had no plans in place for what to do if I missed the bus, so I couldn't imagine how she found me. It was like telepathy.

Actually, when I didn't get off my regular bus, Mom called the school, found out I wasn't there, and figured I got on this other bus. A little easier to explain, but still an example of amazing deductive powers.

So now that I've let a simple simile run away from me, I'll get back to the point. I've been receiving photos by email, Jess's entire stock of MFA pictures involving people I know--especially the 206A crowd from 2003-2004. It was an office where little actual work got done, where darts were thrown too close to Katy's head, and where we all huddled between teaching sessions to teach each other how to teach. Good times.

So I've been missing school, and making it worse by looking at pictures like this one:

This was us in the beginning. Ben wore a suit every day so his students would take him seriously. Havely was chubby and short-haired, Megan still existed, and we had not yet upgraded to the cordless Brian.

It was the best work environment I've ever known, and thinking about it now makes me really dread going to work this morning. Ugh. Even with Michele stressing about her classes and getting ready for her general GRE on Saturday, I envy her. I'd trade places in a second.


James said...

Just This Girl said...

Awww, Jason. It's true. Those were the BEST DAYS.

I like to be shocked by two things in that photo:


I wish they were both sitting in my living room and drinking booze and talking to you, to Greg, to Diana, to Matty Christensen, to Katy, to Panko. Oh, where are those people right now?!!

Jason said...

Ben and Havely both startled me when I looked at this the other day.

My Havely theory: In order to make a good first impression, Havely decided he needed less hair, so he sucked it back into himself and stored it in his abdomen. When he finally released it, he slimmed down.

Okay, that's a dumb theory, but in my head it was hysterically funny.

I want a job where all of those people sit in an office all day and drink booze. Might not get much done, but when did we ever?

Ah, the good-not-so-old-days.

Diana said...

November 3, guys.

Casey Sween said...

I had this moment last year. Everyone was still teaching and going to classes and even Matt started taking classes again. I was so jealous. I offered to write Matt's papers for him. Or at least edit them thoroughly.