Are you my mother?

A highlight of summer break so far has been spending some time with Bardiac as she passed through the area.  We had a very delicious Cajun breakfast (omeletwithandouillesausageandshrimp! cornbread!), a stroll, and a long chat.  I felt very, very chatty!  I won’t say she didn’t get a word in edgewise, because I know we talked about Northwoods U., and her new kayak, and some of our shared GU memories, plus the things we saw on our stroll.  But I know I nattered a lot more than she did, and even though she reads this blog, I felt like I was re-narrating for her the whole dramatic arc of my experience of becoming a high-school teacher.  I guess it’s something I’m still figuring out (well, you can tell that by reading the blog).  I also felt like pouring into a sympathetic, informed, but non-SA ear some parts of the story that haven’t made it onto the blog because I’ve been trying to be discreet.  (Wow, did I pour.)

It’s kind of wonderful to drop back into conversation with someone you’ve known for a long time but see only very occasionally.  It’s been said before, including by me, but how great it is, too, when you’ve been kind of keeping up with each other via blogs and Facebook, and you don’t have to stop to catch up on the basic facts–you rode ten thousand miles on a bike?   It was also kind of wonderful just to talk to Bardiac, and be back in contact with how she is in the world–curious, analytical, clear-eyed, gently humorous.  Smart, of course, and kind.  That stuff.

One of the long loopy tangential conversations began when Bardiac asked me how the Snork Maiden was finding it, being a student in the high school whose mother teaches there, and I told her it was okay most of the time, which I really think it is.  I do try to stay out of her way, and most days this year I rarely saw her before 2:45.  The sophomore lockers are in the same hallway as my classroom, so I may see her more often next year, but she can always choose a different loitering spot, as many people do.  (She didn’t have much time to loiter this year, but next year she will have a free period.)

I didn’t happen to get onto the tangent that is this little story, though: As I was figuring out deployment this spring, I mentioned to the Snork Maiden that someone else might advise the literary magazine next year.  I know I’ve mentioned that spring brings some pretty intense pieces of chair-ship that coincide with the peak of work on the lit mag, and I’ve been casting around for room in someone else’s workload for it.  I mentioned that it might be nice for her if someone else did advise it–she could continue to be involved without having me there all the time (I was especially thinking about the weekend layout sessions, but also the weekly meetings that happen in my room at lunch).  “I don’t want someone else to advise it!” she said.  “I like having you as the advisor.”

Awww.  I guess I’ll stay involved.  It actually worked out reasonably well, I think, in that Lucinda will have it to help round out her part-time load, but meetings will continue to be in my room (partly because with her part-time schedule she won’t be on campus every day, so there will be meeting days when she’s not on campus) and we’ll work on it together.

Now, you just know that there will come a day when she is totally resentful and miffed that I am there, and I will think back to that sweet moment in the car when she insisted she wanted me to do it and wonder what happened.  But it did happen.  So there.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Aw, that’s sweet that she wants to work with you on the magazine!

    And I’m jealous of the long brunch and talk that you and Bardiac had — sounds lovely!


    • Posted by meansomething on June 24, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      We talked about you, too! You were one of my examples for how great it is to pick up a conversation that feels like it’s ongoing. Wish you could have been there!


  2. Posted by Bardiac on June 28, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    I have computer access now, and I’m going to chime in.

    It was wonderful to get to visit. I so enjoyed our conversation, and the way, as you mentioned, that it was like picking up where we’d left off. I felt much the same chatting with What Now? not so very long ago, when I was in town for a conference.

    And you didn’t natter a bit! Not at all.

    Visiting with you makes me sad that we don’t live close enough to visit often, but grateful that we have modern transportation and can visit still. And I hope you (and the same invitation holds for What Now?, of course) and your family will come visit me in flyover country at some point.


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