Waiting for the School Bell

As I write today, I realize why my moods have been introspective, and I have had to fight the Bad Critic when I thought I have been experiencing a reprieve. I woke up Sunday morning, and like two big globs of dark jelly, depression hit me hard in the face.

There’s no reason for this, I thought. I don’t have to go back to school to teach. My summer can continue for a bit. Of course, I remain a grad student, but I have no books to stack, no pencils and pens to stash and no bulletin boards to dream up.

Can we do a big Homer Simpson “Doh!”

I have been going back to school every year since 1990. I knew this moment was coming, but I thought I wouldn’t be affected. I remain a student. What’s up with this, Bad Critic?

By Sunday afternoon, I retreated to my safe place, where I don’t have to think. I napped for three hours. Three hours? Seriously, that cannot be healthy. But the reality is, my world has changed over the summer, and I walked out of the classroom. I said good-bye and cried a little, but I wasn’t expecting the Bad Critic to show up two weeks before school even starts here in the city.

I guess it all goes back a lot of years to when I was a kid, jumping up and down and anxious for school to start. New everything: clothes, lunch box, papers, pencils, everything. I mostly loved school all of my life. Regina, who lives next door, told me she was excited to go school shopping, too. I asked her if she would miss summer, and she said, “No! I’m sick of my brothers!”

Okay then. I’m going to be just a little school-sick, instead of homesick.

When I know why I’m feeling the way I do, I can get out of the depression easier. For example, when I was driving alone on the highway last Sunday, I yelled, “Get out. Leave me alone!” And you know what, it worked.

Happy Back to School, and listen to the school bell (buzzer). You might miss it one day.

Spirits,anyone? Part 2

Before I tell this story, you need to know that I don’t walk around the world looking for ghosts; however, I am sensitive to energy around me, and since I’ve gotten older (sad face), I seem to be able to identify or sense more energy. For example, I live in a 118-year-old home in an older part of the city, so guess what? There’s energy here. I believe that we leave “remnant” pieces of ourselves in places when we have spent time, but that doesn’t mean that it is negative. Other people often think it’s fun to tell stories about evil ghosts, and I’m not denying their existence.

This story also takes place at the girls’ boarding school. This time we’re away from the classrooms, on the third floor of what was called the senior annex. The whole top floor was purposed for different things over time. When I was there part of the floor was a large classroom used for testing and study halls.

It was early September, and I was placement testing my international students for English ability. I did it every year, usually in this large room. I had proctored final exams and study halls many times in this room without noticing any energy, but in that particular year, the energy or ghosts removed all of my schedules and papers for school orientation.

I didn’t notice until the last student had left, and I was packing up everything.  I had the test booklets and answer keys, but what had happened to my notebook and all the orientation schedules? I tore apart the desk and room, but I could see the 25 desks had nothing in them. Where had I been? I thought. The little old-fashioned bathroom? Okay, but not likely. No, nothing there.

I walked all around the third floor, my steps seeming to creak more loudly as a went. I wondered. Would the girls have taken my stuff as a prank? Not likely. These students were new and nervous as me going to the dentist. Besides, most of them were not used to speaking English.

By the end of the afternoon, I had given up. I had spoken to faculty members but no one had seen any missing papers and a notebook. I checked my mailbox and my classroom. Sighing, I went back to the office, grabbed another schedule and carried on with the evening activities.

After a few days, I forgot about the missing papers. I just figured I had put them somewhere and forgot where that “logical” place was.

Weeks pass.

Randomly, one evening, I mention the “lost papers” to my husband, and he immediately suggests I go up to the study room when no one is there and talk to the ghosts.

“You’re kidding,” I said.

“No, just nicely ask the ghosts if you can have your papers back,” he said.

So, the next afternoon, when no one was around. I asked the ghosts if I could have my papers back. I felt silly, and I walked away thinking nothing more about it.

This was several months into the school year, and I really didn’t need those papers back, but to my alarm and surprise, the next day they showed up in my mailbox. Everything. I was shaking because I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. I ran to the admin secretary and quizzed her. Had she put these papers in my mailbox? No. I asked other faculty and staff, especially the dorm staff and housekeepers.

No. No. No. No one had put those papers in my mailbox.