Saturday, October 26, 2013

Back to Economic Time

Summer came into Fall, and I've been working the past month as the substitute librarian at the school from which I just retired. The job lasts until Thanksgiving, which will add to the coffers for financing some future adventure; we're thinking of a road trip around midwestern minor league ballparks next Spring. Or maybe touring the pueblos and desert blue highways of the Southwest.

Our usual librarian, formerly our District Teacher of the the Year--Mr. R, is spending two months leave in Oaxaca, Mexico. His computer, which I use every day, has as its screensaver a street scene from that beautiful colonial town. His regular Facebook posts present a version of paradise for us here in the rainy Northwest.

But this is a sweet gig--a regular eight to four job, and what to do is already planned out for me. No grading or conferences, no emails from parents, no awakening at night to worry about students, no hours of documenting rationale for work decisions, no meetings and workshops of marginal value, no sweating the new evaluation regime, no arriving and leaving at o'dark hundred. In other words, about as much work as any other regular job, plus almost everyone loves to read.

This temporary job is also a chance for me to spend time socializing with my co-workers, something I always felt hurried at when I was a full-time teacher, always fearing I gave an impression of short shrift. But now, the positive response to seeing me back I receive from all my colleagues has been real sweet, and much more than I expected.

Even so, it's back to economic time, trading money for hours--needing to set the alarm, and drive into work every morning, but since my teacherly attention is divided among every classroom in the school, the emphasis is much more on socializing with other teachers and the many friendly and helpful parents, and The Patrol (about which, more in the next post), than on a single group of 27 ten-year-olds crossing the ocean of fourth grade in the Good Ship Room 307...