I confess. I have moments of wishing that I were younger. There are times when I look in the mirror and think "Is that REALLY me? Where did those wrinkles come from?" I've stopped coloring my hair and, considering I started finding gray hairs mixed in with my very dark brown hair in my late 20's, I have more than a few of them now. But with age comes a certain amount of wisdom. I make feeble attempts to pass that wisdom on to my students and my two boys. However, most of the wisdom isn't my own. I find it in examples set by others- Mama Mildred, for sure- and in the incredible wise words of others. I have recently discovered someone who is wise and funny all at the same time. I attempt to write. He really does it. I found him by way of a Facebook friend named Virginia Jones. I found Virginia through her beautiful photos of Paris. I feel as if she and I have been friends for many, many years, yet we have never met face-to-face. Go figure. She shared an essay by Sean Dietrich and it was love at first read. So, I found him on Facebook, started following him (or stalking as some of my 8th graders would say...) and now I read his daily story while I wait for the coffee to brew. I am a terrible creature of habit at 5:30 am. While most people I know are still sound asleep. Well, except for my small band of Frenchies, but that's only because they are six hours ahead of me.
I honestly believe I was born to be a middle school teacher. Some people's idea of one of the seven circles of hell from comments I hear from time to time made by "normal" people. But it's not. For instance, I have an advisee this year, an unnamed 7th grade boy who is at times the most aggravating 12 year old on the face of this earth. Or at least on the face of my earth. I resorted to yelling at him not once but twice last week during the after school study hall I supervise. I normally do not yell except at basketball games where it is socially acceptable. But he kept doing idiotic 7th grade boy stuff. You know, asking to go to the bathroom and staying gone for 20 minutes but trading iPads with the boy sitting next to him before he left so that that boy couldn't do his homework because he couldn't log on to the other boy's iPad. There was a dad in the hallway, waiting to pick up his son, and it just so happens that I taught that dad when he was in 6th or 7th grade. I pray that I did not cause him to have flashbacks to middle school. He survived middle school and seems so well-adjusted now and he has a nice kid. And this same above-mentioned 7th grade boy will leave me absolutely speechless with the words of wisdom I overhear coming out of his mouth once in a while. Advice to another boy overheard on an advisee outing to the State Fair-- Put away your phone and talk face-to-face with people. They like that better.
So, back to my overwhelming need to impart words of wisdom to these kids. I have a few students (and parents) who read this blog. This is for you, kiddos. My little angels, as I call you. And, well, your parents are all younger than me, so they can read on, too. Just a couple (okay, three) of Sean's latest essays. You can find him on Amazon and on Facebook. He is even giving away some of his books for free on Amazon Kindle until midnight tonight. I downloaded them and have started reading, but I feel guilty. I will buy one, too, and that will help with the guilt. And I will continue to
The first one I read... (You will see why I fell in love.)