Teaching is a reflective practice, or so they told me in grad school. Little did I know the extent. Spending my day with sixteen-year-olds compels me to pay frequent visits to my sixteen-year-old self to see if she was equally as naive, ambitious, whimsical, obnoxious, romantic (insert adjective here) as the ones I attend every day. I like to ask my students to ponder where they'll be 10 years from now, both because I want them to begin to plan for their futures and because their answers are entertaining.
"Married with babies."
"Done with college."
Ah, yes. A simpler age. I remember when my English teacher asked me where I would be in 10 years- 10 years ago. In my essay response I was a journalist living in San Francisco on an expansive vineyard with my husband, the man who had cured cancer. Baby on the way, I wrote a column in a San Francisco newspaper called "Hashbrowns" in which a reminisced about my quaint, country childhood in an Idaho potato town.
I never lacked ambition.
And I could go on and on about how our society does not provide students with an accurate narrative of what a person's twenties are supposed to look like. We let them innocently assume that life will follow the pattern of high school, college, success, sheepishly omitting the years of due-paying, debt-ridden self-discovery and mistake-making.
But this blog is not about the awkwardness or the failures or the disappointments we experience in our twenties.
It's about the people who help us laugh through them.