May 30, 2004, 9:35 pm
Most days, I don't think about it. I can walk into my classroom without it clouding my mind, and I can turn my back or walk down the hall thinking about what I'm going to teach rather than what else could happen during the school day.
Most weekends, well, I think about other things, or I worry about a stack of papers that are left ungraded in my car. I even can look at the envelopes sitting on the floor of my room with "Maryland Juvenile Detention Center" printed for the return address without my stomach hitting my throat. I can have a crick in my neck that I don't associate with the injury. I can see someone else with his last name.
I finally learned our passcode for the answering machine at the house tonight; after I set up everyone's mailboxes, I never really checked it again. I figured anyone I really wanted to hear from had my cell phone, anyway. Tonight though, I decided to wade through the tide of voices from the past four or five months, trying to see if there was anything important that I was missing.
Jessica, hi, I'm thinking about you. I'm so, so sorry. I love you. I'll see you on Monday. It's Elena. Beep.
Jessica, hi, it's Anthony. I couldn't believe it when I heard, but I was calling to tell you what an awesome teacher you are. I'll be thinking about you. Beep.
Jess, it's Pat, whatever you need, I'm here. Beep.
And they went on. There were six altogether, from people I don't normally talk to all that often, and it made me think that there's a reason I'm staying another year, and it's because I won't find better people to work with. I might still think about it, from time to time, but I know that if I need to talk, there are people there to listen (you all included). Thanks.