I'm an old man with a boatload of semesters behind me. I haven't handled chalk in years, so when the time comes for me to walk, I'll be more than ready to drop the last magic marker in the white board's trough. I'm even anxious.
All of that's true, but it doesn't mean I don't like my students. I do.
But this morning I'm nervous as a wet hen because I want them to show our visiting writer why I do. I want them to flash him their hungriest eyes, show him their interest in what it is he does. I want him to hear their questions about his poetry, about poetry in general, about art. I want him to see them at their very best. Shoot, I'm a matchmaker, a classroom version of e-harmony. I'd love nothing more than some good, heavy breathing. I want to make things pop.
And that's why it won't bother me to retire some day soon. I'm tired of being nervous about such things, tired of hoping my lame matchmaking lights fires, tired of hoping students come out the classroom moved, if not changed, stars in their eyes. I've spent a lot of my life as a wet hen.
But just this one more time, Lord. This morning, tonight, tomorrow. . .just let it be.
I don't want to lay an egg.