Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Time slips three times

I.
I'm out for dinner Sunday with an out-of-town friend I haven't seen in years. "Hey, Mr. Rozinsky," a voice says from next to our table. It belongs to a fellow diner who also happens to be a student I taught in sixth grade, now well into his college education.

II.
Monday morning, I'm wiping down classroom desks to remove lingering dry-erase residue. I flash back to when I was in sixth grade, and my math teacher would so obsessively disinfect her space that it forever reeked of Lysol.

III.
After desk duty, I'm moonlighting as a doorstop outside my classroom when an eight grader I taught two years ago walks past on his way to first period. In tones of mock incredulity, he's saying to another student, "This is what happens when I care about something: I actually put something into it." Sounds about right, based on how I remember him.

10 comments:

  1. Oh wow - the structure, the brevity, the diction ("dry-erase residue", "moonlighting as a doorstop") - this piece really really works. Inspires me to try some short pieces. Also, have you read What I Leave Behind by Alison McGhee? 100 chapters of 100 words. Pretty cool.

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    1. Viva la short piece! Thanks for the pointer to What I Leave Behind; I'll check it out.

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  2. Oh, I'll have to read Invictus! I bought it a while back for my reluctant high school reader. I love time travel books and did not realize (maybe, remember is a better word) that it was about time travel. Love your post!

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  3. It’s nice that you can remember sixth grade. 🤣

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  4. This makes me want to read Invictus! This piece was crafted so well!

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  5. Thank you for sharing :) My husband remembers his students at unexpected moments and smiles :)

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  6. Captain Janeway if the USS Voyager once said, "Time travel. Since my first day on the job as a Starfleet captain I swore I'd never let myself get caught in one of these godforsaken paradoxes - the future is the past, the past is the future, it all gives me a headache." Yours is the sort of time travel I think she would enjoy!

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    1. Nostalgia may be the best kind of time travel that's currently available to us :)

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  7. Mayhaps that 6th grade math teach was brilliant at proofreading & spell checking! Love the slice, especially the door stop moonlighting. Reminded me of my listening brick in days of old. Got costume material ready or in mind? !gnilims peeK

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