My classroom is empty. The recess bell rang a few minutes ago, and I hear students playing in the open, grassy area below.
I can’t tell you how strange it feels to sit here after yesterday’s news about yet another school shooting. I don’t have all the words for it yet. Maybe I never will.
What I can tell you is that I am sitting, alone, and I’m crying. I have the Lofi beats girl on my laptop screen to keep me company, kind of. She’s writing the same bits of something important in a journal as her cat looks out on the city below.
*closing my eyes, breathing, feeling the music wash over me
It’s like I’m not in my body, like this is some alternate universe where gun violence isn’t a thing, like this odd collection of teacher desk talismans I’m looking at would ward against some outside or inside attack, like I’d never have to hear another sickening politician offer up “thoughts and prayers,” like I’d never again have to look at the pictures of dead kids before they were dead, kids smiling, holding up school certificates, playing like my students are right now. Outside. In the sun.
I’m leaving tomorrow, flying back to LA. I’m packing up my room and cleaning out my desk. Found this cute note I got from my current school when I joined the faculty. It was inside a goodie bag that had a bunch of supplies. You’ll see it. I added the sticky note.
Okay. Time to clean up my face and reapply the teacher smile. Kids arriving soon for my last classes of the school year in 3, 2, 1…
“Good morning, everyone!”