Last Saturday's drive home from school was horrendous in the snow. I am no a skittish driver. Quite the opposite. Yet I can honestly say it was a white-knuckle ride. I had to drop down to at most 35mph just to make a lane change without fishtailing, because there was so much icy build-up between the lanes. It was tricky, steady going. I kept my eyes wide open, had the Clash's Super Black Market Clash to keep me company, and gave everyone plenty of space to spin out. While most people drove safely, the highway definitely had its share of lunkheads--like the guys in the F250s who went into the ditch on the median because they thought their trucks could defy the ice. Ding dong!
I was happy to get home safely Saturday, jump into my yoga pants, light a fire, and curl up on the couch. But I'm just as happy to head back out on the highway in a couple of hours and trek back up to class. This past week a few things came up that really illustrated just how committed I am to this program and just how much I want to teach for the sake of teaching. Yes, I'll be very happy to make the transition out of this job. But more than anything, I want to teach. The schedule is tiring at times, though, and I'm definitely looking forward to falling back and gaining an hour this weekend.
But it will be dark when I head out for my early evening walks with the dog. The last few weeks, I've enjoyed rounding the corner near my house just in time to hear the Coast Guard bugler sound First Call during Evening Colors. I've been lucky to catch a glimpse of the flag being lowered against the backdrop of a great sunset. (All sunsets are great on our side of town.) Sean and his scout troop were able to participate in an Evening Colors ceremony this past spring, in the rain, and it was a moving experience. And some nights, especially in the summer, the bugle's call can be heard from our front porch just as the sun dips out of view. But seeing it--and hearing it--when I least expect it always gives me goosebumps. No matter how bad our economy is, no matter how jaded fellow New Haveners are, and no matter how bleak the global economic forecasts might be, I'm still very happy to be an American. And eventually, I'll proudly lead the Pledge of Allegience for my homeroom.
Of course, I won't have a choice. By contrast, though, the students can choose whether or not to say it.
I love that about this country, too.