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Mr. Jones and Ms. Summers

May 8, 2014
Went to the beach and stared at my toes that haven't been tended to since September. Being a teacher is rough, y'all. Pedicure upon my return-- green for Good on the EOCs which start next week.

Went to the beach and stared at my toes that haven’t been tended to since September. Being a teacher in New Orleans is rough, y’all. Pedicure upon my return– green for Good on the EOCs which start next week.

I rode a yellow school bus in New Orleans today. With 8 kids. Poetry slam. And when the kids broke into song and built an unforgettable moment all together, I was transported immediately back to my early high school days. Yellow school bus days.

Mind you, I’m 35. Just recently. But 35.

I was immediately 15 again. Saturday mornings spent traveling to small towns in Kansas to compete in drama. Breaking out in “Daughter” by Pearl Jam at the exact (pause) same (pause) time (pause) as Natalie Neuenswander and being so blown away that we could break out in the same song. At the exact same time. Exactly. And Matt Spencer’s harmonica playing as we sat in a nerd circle. And my brother Jesse’s briefcase of current magazines he’d use for his champion extemporaneous speeches. And Alan Potter’s poetry, which was the Counting Crows song “Mr. Jones” that he performed as spoken word. He was probably the only kid in the universe who could have pulled that off. Man, we were all such cynical midwesterners reading really good books and being too smart for our own good.

And I started thinking about it. I’ve always preached that the only romantic things left in the world are coffee and cigarettes and rain. But now I want to add yellow school busses. They will always smell the same. And have the same spring squeak. But these new, fancy busses have seat belts. But I didn’t wear one. I live on the edge.

No matter how old I get or far away from the days I once regularly rode a yellow school bus, somehow I’m always still there: a split second from song, a deep breath from a nap, an awkward moment from the cool-kid-crowd, a short walk from anywhere.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2014 2:24 pm

    Thanks for teaching me the word “extemporaneous” just now. I hope to remember to use it. I need to practice pronouncing it 😉
    Thanks for taking the kids to the Poetry Slam. You’re so rad and they’ll remember you just like you remember yellow school busses. (you know, squeaky and living on the edge 😉
    Cheers to your final days of the school year. Wish I could treat you to a pedicure!!

  2. May 10, 2014 12:14 pm

    You cloud our head with memories we all lived. Add hot summer nights on fire escapes looking at lightning flashing the Empire State building.1960.

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