Spring Fake

The first day of Spring Break this year was revoked. Because we missed an unanticipated number of school days in September when Pope Francis visited Philadelphia, it was determined that we would have to make up for the lost instructional time now.

And so, off we all went to school for a one-day week.

You can imagine the feelings around this. Attendance would be poor, everyone would be grouchy, productivity would be nil.

I will admit: my own expectations for the day were quite low. Furthermore, it was 30ish degrees on the second day of Spring, so I was already set up for disappointed.

Following a brisk bike ride with my two sets of gloves on, I bought the biggest coffee and walked into the building.

My first human interaction was with a 12th grader in my Reel Reading class (which is like an Englishy-film studies elective for second semester seniors). Before I put my bag down he was in the room showing me his outfit, which was inspired by Benjamin Braddock, the main character played by Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate (one of our recent films).

There I was, all geared up to have a grumpy morning, and he disarmed me completely. What are you supposed to do when your course content inspires teenagers' wardrobe choices? And they think it important enough to share it with you as soon as possible?

And then.

Less than an hour later, my 9th graders were presenting the video trailers they made for their book club novels. A student who typically prefers not to say anything out loud stood up to introduce his group's project. When his group mates silently indicated that he would start it off, he gave a big sigh and began, "Well, let me just tell you everything I love about this book." And he rambled excitedly for a while, and the rest of the class listened eagerly, and my heart absolutely melted.

They showed their trailer, and it was tremendous. They'd spent days filming it all over the city, capturing the biggest ideas and the tiniest nuances of the characters and themes, and selling the rest of the class on their book because they genuinely just loved it so much.

I really wanted to write about Monday. I mean, it wasn't life-changing. It wasn't the most magical day of my career or anything like that.

It was a day that was supposed to pretty much stink, but it didn't at all. I went into it begrudgingly, probably along with nearly everyone else, and it turned out to be full of little moments of joy.

Even a silly day like that, with the bar set so low, can't not remind me. I have it pretty dang good. The big picture is right. And I really, truly love this gig.

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