Friday, August 18, 2006

This Is a Good Day

World, meet Amy, my best friend.

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Here is a list of things Amy likes:

1. pigs
2. chocolate milkshakes
3. tank tops
4. boys who play rugby
5. margaritas
6. being offered a full-time teaching job at a small school in western New York

This is a good day.

It's actually been a good month for the 1999 graduates of Holland High School. Go, Dutchmen.

Just the other day our childhood friend Missy got offered a full-time job teaching English at our old high school. She will be teaching alongside the man I credit as the man who made me think, Hey now, maybe I should do something with this writing thing. He is also the man I periodically have dreams about, and in these dreams I am hiding under a dresser in his living room and spilling wine on his carpet.

Today pig-loving, sparkle-adoring Amy got a job offer, too. Full-time. Social studies and English for sixth, for seventh, and for eighth grade.

It's all about karma. On the way to her interview for this job, she rearended a bus. A school bus. It was her second car accident in the last three months. And like any girl in her right mind, Amy cried. She wanted to know why, why, why things like that kept happening to her.

"Just wait," I said. "You're getting all the bad out of your system, and then something amazing is going to happen."

Something amazing happened.

And then there's me, I guess. Unlike those other girls, and unlike all my friends in college, I didn't go to school for an education degree. Not Elementary, not Secondary, not anything. I wanted to study literature and I wanted to write. The other girls spent their homeworking time with lesson plans. They laminated things. They rubber stamped things. They made cookies. Well, they asked me to come watch them make cookies so they didn't screw them up. I was always a little jealous of the colorful things they would be loading into their cars to take to school and show off to their teachers. There were lessons about teeth brushing and lessons about counting. Vegetables, the Civil War, and body parts. It all had an air of glamour to it.

I didn't ever expect to become a teacher, but that's where my life has led me. And when I moved back here, back home, and faced the prospect of not being able to teach--of instead having to wait tables or work at a collection agency--I felt panicked and desperate. Not teach? Not teach? Unfathomable. It's all I want to do.

But things have a way of going the way they need to go. Last week I got the news that I'll be teaching writing at the largest SUNY school in the state. I'm a SUNY graduate, so it's sort of like a homecoming, even if I'm not a graduate from the school where I'll be teaching. I get another SUNY card, and it's going to look so much different than my old SUNY card from Fredonia, the one I unearthed when moving back home. In it, I am seventeen years old. My hair is short. I am wearing a striped t-shirt. In my eyes is a certain sort of satisfaction, a certain sort of self-confidence. I am excited to come to college, and I can't wait to have a room of my own where I will be able to have my boyfriend spend the night. Who knows what'll show in the new one.

The classes I've been assigned are for students who scored in a slightly above average bracket on the SAT's verbal section. It'll be interesting to see if these students will be different than the writing students I had in regular composition, or if they will be different from Midwestern students, those sweet, lovable, corn-fed kids.

But all I know right now is that I won't be waiting tables or working at a collection agency. I'll be doing what I love most, and I'm thankful for it. And around me all my friends are doing well and getting jobs they want, and we're all going to be grading papers and comparing notes. It's going to be a good fall for us girl. It's going to be exactly what we needed.

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