Sunday, April 20, 2008

4 Weeks

Four weeks with students; five weeks at school; six weeks--maybe--in South Dakota.

I'm anticipating the end of my teacherly responsibilities with a good bit of impatience, something I feel somewhat bad about. But then I stop to think about what teacher does not look forward to the summmer? It's one of the perks of the job, really.

Four more weeks with students still seems like a lot of lesson plans and tests and, yes, behavior problems. Seeing the end so close deflates my work ethic: I just wish it was here already (and there will be a lot of work in these four weeks, unfortunately). It's a microcosm of my two-year experience; knowing that there was a best-used-by date on my teaching career made me less invested in a lot of aspects of teaching. I would've done much better, I know, if I had thought of this as an experience with no end.

Only six more weeks in this state, though, seems like a damn short time: that's really six more chances to go camping, to walk through the Badlands, or to hang out with the friends I've met here.

My parents came to visit this weekend, and I took them to some of the local "attractions": we hiked out on Eagle Nest Butte, seven miles south of town, and out at Wolf's Table, in the Badlands seven miles north. We drove 50 miles north to Philip for dinner, the first time I've been to the town; two nights ago we ate at Club 27 in Kadoka, the first time in my two years I've made it there, either. I also talked a lot: told them a lot of the little stories from the past two years that I hadn't shared yet. I've always known that I'd get nostalgic when it came time to leave here; it's in my nature to be wistful about everything I leave behind. Now I'm starting to see where that nostalgia will leak out from, and it's making the littlest experiences--a sunny day, or a drive through a canyon--seem that much more poignant.

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