My school has decided in the last couple years to turn our 1.5 weeks of meetings before school starts into 2.5 weeks of meetings. Personally I’d rather start earlier. I was getting stir crazy with all the meetings. And in the ample free time they built in for us to work, I put my nose to the grindstone. But it just dragged on, and I was feeling this sense of ennui. The fact that I was spending all my work time in my office, which is not air-conditioned, and in which I swear I see people enter and suddenly start “glistening” and “glowing” (which we all know are euphemisms for drenched in sweat).

Then today happened. In the middle of my intense work-session in my office, bogged down by a generalized sense of heat-induced world-weariness, two students walked into the math office. One was a former student from last year. And one was a student I know from math club type things and I’m teaching him this year. Both were in school guiding incoming freshman around and helping them get oriented.

And for about 30 minutes, they just chatted. And it was glorious. I loved having them there. I loved hearing about their summers. Their excitement about returning infected me. And like that I remembered what I love about the job. Not interacting with adults in meetings. Not cutting out a zillion laminated triangles. Not trying to keep the sweat rolling down my forehead from making it to my overgrown facial hair. It’s working with kids — who are experiencing so many things for the first time (summer jobs and summer programs, deciding on classes, etc.). These people who are simultaneously not-adult-like and adult-like. Who just have this energy that’s infectious. For these thirty minutes, I forgot that my body temperature was probably 104, and that I was praying for someone to freeze my head in a block of ice to put me out of my misery. I was supremely happy and in the moment.

(Or maybe it was just these two kids. Or I was suffering from delusions caused by head stroke.)

But regardless, my one good thing for today was hanging out with these two students.

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