Northerner In Nashville

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 02 2011

My Kids and the Jonas Brothers

My kids and the Jonas Brothers
Question: What do the things in the title have in common?

Answer: What was going through my head in LaGuardia as I made my way back home to Nashville after a well-enjoyed winter break.

What happened: I arrived at my gate in LaGuardia exhausted and hungry. My connection was tight, I’d had to check through security to get from one concourse to the other, and it was right in the middle of dinnertime. I went to the only food place within sight of my gate — Auntie Annie’s Pretzels. While I’ve been primed by experiences at malls and airports to respond like Pavlov’s dog, there can be times when the smell is overpowering. I turned my head away from the counter and the obnoxious family in front of me and lo and behold, I saw him.

One of the Jonas brothers. My brain just sort of shut off for a moment and the only thought that crossed my brain was “My kids are never going to believe this. How can I best tell this story so that I’m cool?”

While my brain processed this challenge, the JoBro continued to walk through the airport. My brain was calling out “Joe! Joe!” but my mouth would not move. Probably a good thing, because I realized by the woman beside him that it was the married JoBro. While no one who knows me would probably believe that I, on occassion, can’t speak, this one time I was especially glad — turns out his name is Kevin, not Joe. Woops.

In essence, however, the thought of my kids overtook my brain. How much [insert name here] would like this toy. [Insert name here] loves this book — I wonder if he/she’s read the next book in the series? Here’s a workbook on phonics — I could really use this with [insert name here]. I did share some of the stories of the past year with friends and family, and I could tell a lot of them were impressed, especially the ones that have taught themselves. I was struck too by the stories I chose to tell and how I felt afterward. Instead of feeling tired, I think I finally had enough of a break to feel motivated and rejuvenated.

So we’ll see. Class begins again on Tuesday and I’m introducing some new procedures to tackle some of the issues we had last quarter. I keep hearing over and over again that something magical happens over Winter Break — I’m keeping my fingers crossed. If not, I can at least take deep breaths, think of the wonderful time that I had with friends and family, and count down to my reunion in April.

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