I did not wade ashore for the cameras, pipe in mouth, but I did return to school today. In person.
On Wednesday I Skyped into my 6th period for the last 15 minutes of the day. I'm not sure who enjoyed it most--me, for getting to see and talk to the kids; my substitute, for not having to be "on stage" for 15 minutes; or the kids, who got out of 15 minutes of work!
Yesterday was the last staff meeting of the year, and the math department's turn to recognize two Students of the Month. Last month I nominated one of my students who has Lyme Disease, and despite all the treatments and absences (Lyme is really bad) always showed up to school with completed homework in hand and a readiness to take any quizzes/tests missed. With an attitude like that, is it any wonder she's going to USC in a few months? Anyway, that recommendation was accepted unanimously, and I very much wanted to be the teacher to present the award to her.
Enter Skype again.
Everyone saw me up on the screen and could hear me over the speakers, and it was amazing how much of the meeting I could hear via the microphone. I was present for the whole staff meeting!
That's how I knew about today's PTSA luncheon. One of the perks of teaching in a well-to-do area is that our PTSA is very generous; in addition to running a Parent Secret Pal program, they put on a back-to-school luncheon and an end-of-the-year luncheon--and they go all out. The food is always exceptional, and there's always plenty of it.
And anyone who knows me knows that I'm not going to let a little knee injury get between me and a spread like that!
My dad drove me to school about 45 minutes before lunch, and I'd arranged with a fellow teacher and friend to drive me home. Movement across campus was very slow, as the campus seems much larger than usual now that I'm gimpified. Two of my students were helping on the luncheon, and they carried the food for me as I crutched outside and found a bench. It was great to be able to relax and tell the kids what happened without disrupting any classes. Everyone wanted to hear the story of how it happened! Shortly before lunch ended I went back into the library, site of the luncheon, to chat with my fellow teachers while time was available.
The travel across campus to the classroom (and eventually the car) of my ride home was taken in small pieces--from this bench to that one to that one. You wouldn't think that just walking across a high school campus could be so much effort, but it was arduous--and barring the injury, I'm not in the worst physical shape, either. Even after relaxing (it was her prep period, and she was grading essays) in the classroom and getting driven home, I'm still exhausted. Physically, completely, exhausted.
Besides a couple trips to the doctor or to the store to get pain pills, this was my first time "out", and it was an extended stay from home. I'm not tired enough to sleep, but I'm exhausted enough not to move for awhile.
It was actually nice going back to school and seeing everyone. Who'd'a thunk it?