Just like yesterday's entry, I'd like to start this one with housekeeping... but of a different sort. If you are someone reading this in a country other than the U.S., I would love it if you could post a comment to tell me how you learned of this blog. And, for all of you, if you aren't into commenting, I added a section below each post where you can just click on one of several boxes, which gives me feedback on what you thought of that post. I did this about a week ago, but had forgotten to mention it. Thanks for any and all feedback you have given me or will give in the future.
Okay, onto the post proper. Yesterday I went to my first teacher meeting in over two years, because on June 22, I will, at long last, teach again. A position in the summer school program was offered to me as a way to "dip my toe in the waters" and see how my body responds to being back on the job. It is an ideal opportunity for me to get a clear view of what the best decision will be for me in the fall: return to teaching full time, part time, or not at all.
I could not type the words in that previous sentence if not for my belief that whatever the next phase of my life looks like, it will involve being an educator. Last Thursday, I spoke to AP Biology students at a nearby high school about the importance of becoming an organ donor. I sent out an e-mail to most of the local principals, and heard back from each school, but only one teacher was able to make room for a guest speaker in the already busy end of the year schedule. I was so thrilled with how it went, considering it was my first time speaking about my transplant experience as an official volunteer for Gift of Life Michigan. On top of that, none of these students knew who I was. In every other speech I've given since the transplant, at least one audience member was already on Team Evin. But, as the video (which is too long to put on YouTube, so if you have any ideas for how I could share it, let me know...) will show, the students were very engaged and the Q&A session after my prepared speech went in many interesting directions. Ultimately, though I didn't have the same impact on these kids that I did on the classes of American Lit. students who spent 180 days with me, I could still sense a ripple in the water. I had the same feeling any teacher hopes to have as the bell rings: that what I did in that hour mattered.
I learned during the transplant wait and recovery process that I should not worry about that which I cannot control. I've never been much of a worrier to begin with, so that helped. But the situation I'm in now is not all that different-- there are variables about my return to work this summer and potentially in the fall that I have no power over, and some things, like legislation that affects my future options, that I'm still learning about. This is another chance to go with the flow, although this time, there is no literal liters per minute flow to accompany the figurative one.
Come June 22nd, I will do as I have since I was a student in high school. I will do my best, I will work with an eye toward the future, and I will soak in every moment of the journey-- except now, I know to be grateful for the smallest things, even the ones-- like teacher meetings-- that seem to be dross obscuring the gold. After a double lung transplant, it's all gold, Ponyboy.