So, it is fall. The teachers and the kids are back at school. If you’re lucky enough to be a student this time of year, you are looking at so many opportunities for growth and connection. I’m still in contact with my favorite teacher from high school. He taught math. Go figure. I didn’t love high school. College and grad school is where I really thrived—and I kind of still want to be there. My spirit age is 19. I sat in the second row, was always prepared for class, engaged with the material—pretty much your cliché first-born English major.
At least once, I was so moved by a piece of literature I cried during the class discussion (Thank you, Kate Chopin).
Between undergraduate and graduate school I taught high school for a few years. I had the opportunity to get to know some great kids, and though ultimately standing in front of the classroom was not for me (I loved planning the lessons, but discipline not-so-much), I wouldn’t trade meeting those amazing people. Some of these students I am still in contact with. They are like thirty-something now. Crazy.
We have just sent the October 2017 issue of Under the Gum Tree to the printer. For this issue, I wrote the Editor’s Letter. I talk about this teaching and learning. Seven of the pieces included in the issue have been crafted by teachers. There is also a story by a 16-year-old high school student. The other writers and artists have figured out a way to earn a living writing and art making. Nice work if you can get it. All of them have shared a bit of their life with us, and we are indebted to them for it.
So many people work so hard for so little.
These days, I am a freelance editor, mom, life-partner, and volunteer, trying to help the world move forward. It can be hard. My kid has almost reached my spirit age, and when I see him go out sometimes it’s hard not to try and live through him vicariously.
One thing about academic life is that, contrary to the world outside of it, autumn is a time of starting over, clean slates, bright sheaves of paper, sharpened pencils, free-flowing ink, crisp index cards, meeting new people, forming new bonds, learning new things. It’s one reason why, despite the shortening days and the impending cold weather, I still manage to be invigorated by the season.
I’m on Twitter and IG now too: @sacramentorobin. Come say hi.