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How do you do? (The fingers-crossed handshake.)

obamaIf everything works out, and both sides come to the middle, we should reach an agreement. I’m hopeful. And shaky. And hopeful. And a little queasy. But mostly hopeful. Only a few more days until I should be able to meet my students for this year. I’m ready, I think, as ready as I can be–kind of like hanging off of a cliff by my toes, and hoping I’ll sprout wings if I fall.

Does that surprise you, that teachers are a little nervous, too, when they’re meeting you for the first time? Why wouldn’t we be? Oh…right…we’re not humans! We don’t have feelings! We’re just Teacher-Bots, programmed to spew forth information and take a lot of coffee breaks!

I can assure you I am not a robot.  I kind of wish I was right now, because things may get a little rough for teachers these next few weeks. It’s a tough time to be a human in general these days. High unemployment. Cranky politicians. Global warming. Yikes! That would make anyone want to hit the Shut Down bar and unplug their USB cable! Power down, people…power down!

Maybe I’ll pretend I’m President Obama for a day, and stay cool, kind, and collected at all times. And warmly shake your hand in greeting, and be glad you’re in my class. I won’t even have to pretend that part.

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Communication breakdown.

What do you do when you and friend disagree, or have different opinions about something? Well, I bet we could chart it on a rubric or scale:


I think the word anger is not exactly the right word; it could be anger, but it could also be awkwardness, disappointment, etc., something a little milder than ‘anger.’ Anger, as well as all of the others, can be forgotten and forgiven. Example, your friend takes your last piece of gum out of your purse without asking. No real biggie, right? However, later a really cute boy walks up to you to ask you to the movies, and your breath could peel paint off the walls. You reach into your purse to get the gum, and it’s not there, but the empty package is, and he gets a whiff of your stinky breath and asks her for the date instead. You’re going to have to decide for yourself how upset you will become, for how long, and whether or not to forgive and forget. Now, turns out the dude is a total creep and she did you a favor, although by accident. (When that happens. it’s irony.)

So, I’m facing some tough choices now, and I know many of my friends don’t agree with me. I know that many do. And I agree with the ones who don’t agree with me, and disagree with the ones who do. If you’re scratching your head in confusion, that’s okay and normal.  (That’s called paradox: paradox means something that doesn’t seem like it could be true but it is.)

We can never say all that we feel or think. If we did, we’d wear ourselves out and our friends would run for the hills. The thinking and feelings get all jammed up and nothing meaningful gets said, or heard. Sometimes the best thing to do is just keep quiet. The forgetting and forgiveness will come.