Add this twilight zone/jet lag feeling to the fact that it is last teacher workshop week in the last semester I will ever be teaching (retiring January 31, 2009), and you have a recipe for an almost out-of-body experience. I feel like I’m kind of floating at the top of the ceiling, watching myself go through the day.
“Oh, look,” says the floating me, looking down at the flesh and blood me, walking into my office. “Isn’t this special? She’s coming for her very last teacher workshop.”
“Cool,” says the floating me, doing the backstroke up near the ceiling tiles, “she’s sitting through her very last workshop division meeting—and she hasn’t felt compelled to take a single note or volunteer to be on even one committee.”
“Wow!” says the floating me, looking over my shoulder at the computer screen where class lists seem to scroll down forever, “that’s a lot of student names to learn. Since it’s your last semester, why don’t you just call them all ‘buddy’ or ‘sweetheart’ this one time?”
The last lesson plans I’ll ever need to write, the last time a publisher can throw out a new edition of a textbook five minutes before the semester starts, the last time I’ll need to worry about learning new software, the last papers I’ll ever grade, the last time I’ll get to . . . last time . . . last time . . . last time.
The real me is still working feverishly at my desk getting ready for the onslaught of students next Monday, going through all the motions of being the conscientious teacher people expect me to be. But that twilight zone/jet lagged/floating me up by the ceiling is just smiling lazily, telling me to just relax and enjoy all of these “last times.”