Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Once I Had a Life

Today I had some routine doctors appointments. I dread them now feeling just a little ambivalent about doing things that will no doubt result in enhanced longevity, while Daniel is not here on Earth now. Still I went. It was a blisteringly hot day and I was very pleased when I found a parking space near the building. I got out and went to arm my car alarm when a lovely young woman who looked an awful lot like Queen Latifah, smiled and waved at me, calling me by name. I couldn't tell you what her name was, but I recognized her as a student who sat up front and to the right in one of the Anatomy and Physiology classes I taught Mondays, the semester before Daniel passed. "When are you coming back ?" she pleaded. "I don't know yet" I said, feeling sad, confused and silly all at once.
I have not embraced teaching college again for a couple of reasons. Number one, Although I do know that Daniel was proud of my accomplishments at the college, had I known that 2008 was the last year I had with Daniel, I would never have taught part time, or otherwise in the first place. I feel as if I have misused my time.....HIS time. Secondly, it is not a huge sum of money. I might be better off not buying college instructor clothes, driving as much, and staying in the lower tax bracket. Third, I am not entirely convinced that I could effectively stand before 40-50 students and speak of larynxes, intubation, resuscitation, without, when I least suspect it, imploding into tears, recalling the time I performed CPR on a witnessed cardiac arrest patient, the only time I got nowhere, and the one time, that I wanted to be successful most of all.
After pre-registering, I was still early to my appointment. I began to look around the office and saw pictures of all the employees. The "access specialist" is one of my students from 2007 who graduated this year, and who, was an absolute joy to teach. I require a research paper in each of my classes, and although I give a great deal of help, direction, and a booklet I have written with clear directions, I realize that English is not always a beloved subject to many of my students, especially if they had hoped to be studying anatomy and physiology. The woman in the picture was one of the students who was most concerned about the research paper, and who genuinely earned an "A".
I am not sure I can go back. I am not sure I have the reserve, but it is nice to know that once, I had a life where I could bring positive things to my students, and where I did not feel a loss as large as the Grand Canyon.

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