It was a few weeks ago, a Friday, late.  I’d joined the exercising teachers, probably entertaining people with my struggle to get on the ground, and then back up.  Oh well.  That’s exercise, too.

So, anyway, I was leaving, my sack of grading ready for me to put the requisite miles on it when I heard my name.  It was an ‘old’ kid.  He was probably a sophomore, now, and he was looking for teachers to greet.

“I’ve decided I want to be a French teacher,” he said, ” and it’s because of you and a teacher at the high school.”

Of course, I started crying.  He’d spoken in French. “That’s so cool.”  I said. We talked, I smiled, I was thrilled…but at the same time, I wasn’t.  “Run!  Run!”  I wanted to cry.  “It’s a trap.  It used to be fun, but now…”

I thought about the endless, pointless meetings, the Big Standardized Test, the data gathering, the bean-counting…

Shhh!  I thought.  He’s only 16 or 17.  He has time to change his mind.  He has time to become disillusioned.  He has time to choose another career.

“Come back and see me” I lied, knowing I was retiring at the end of the year. “Let me know where you decide to study.”

That was my good thing for that day.  And my worst.

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