It begins, pt. 18

Because capitalism, let me begin by reminding you of two things: that I have a new book out and that my YouTube channel is going strong and could use some more subscribers. The game we’re in now, A Plague Tale: Innocence, is particularly narratively strong and I think would probably be quite a bit of fun to watch. It’s a game where you’re occasionally called upon to feed Inquisition soldiers to rats! You’ll love it.

(Why “Pt. 18,” in the headline there? This is year eighteen of teaching. Eighteen fucking years. Madness.)

School has not started yet, and won’t for nearly two weeks (two weeks from yesterday, I think, is the kids’ first day) but my rosters showed up today when I went looking for them, and I was greeted with smaller classes than I thought I was going to have (alarmingly small, honestly; I can imagine a world where if some of these kids don’t show up they collapse a section on us) and an organizational change that will make grading and record-keeping a lot easier, at least once I get done redoing the planning that was predicated on things working like they did last year. I am fighting off the urge to go to Target tonight to do a touch of supply shopping for stuff I know I’m going to need, and I will be in my classroom for the first time this school year tomorrow. I likely won’t be there much longer than an hour or so– long enough to take a quick inventory of what I want to do with the classroom now that I’m actually decorating it (remember, I’m in the same room I was in last year, but I never really decorated last year) and figure out what I might need to buy over the weekend.

I will be in my classroom Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week doing setup, Thursday and Friday are all-day meetings downtown, Monday the week after I’ll be in my room, then Tuesday is the first day for the teachers and the kids are back Wednesday. So this is the last weekday of summer, basically, since I’ll have Job Stuff every weekday from here on out.

So, yeah: here we go.


Let’s see, what else? I have a Family Thing this weekend; not one as extensive as last time, just for a day– but it’s for my wife’s side of the family, and I don’t know any of them especially well. Unlike my own family, I’m also not a hundred percent sure I can trust the vaccine status of everyone who will be there, a lot of whom I won’t know at all, and while I like my wife’s cousin and her kids, her cousin’s husband is still … I’ll say a potential danger spot in terms of his and my mutual ability to get along with each other. I have, as of yet, no concrete reason to distrust the guy beyond vibes, but we haven’t seen each other in a couple of years for obvious reasons and in general the people I might be interested in staying away from seem to have gotten worse at hiding their bullshit since this all started. I will do my damnedest to be a good guest– or, at the very least, I will make damned sure that while we’re driving home angry after leaving early, it won’t be because I was the asshole.

This is where my life would be easier if I was capable of talking about sports, by the way. Sports is a great thing for men to talk about when they don’t want to talk about other things. That said, talking about sports right now is pretty much talking about politics anyway, so even that refuge may be gone. Hopefully what happened last time will happen again– that the teenagers will decide to hang out with me, and I will thus immunize myself (heh) of any accusations of refusing to socialize while still insulating myself against stumbling into a Don’t Want None Won’t Be None situation with anyone else.

It’ll be fine, but cross your fingers for me anyway.

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Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.