Last night I had a classic teacher’s nightmare. I dreamt that we were at the theater and we were having orientation for new students and we had some tables set up in the lobby of the bing. We were doing some practicum games,whatever that is, and our students were performing in teams. Sitting with me at my table I had two students whose first language was French. One’s name was Quatre-vingt-dix-neuf and the others ones name was Trente-huit. I had one of those moments where they each told me their names twice and I leaned in to listen carefully, before I realized that they were saying large French numbers.
“Isn’t it interesting that you both have large French numbers for names?”
In addition they were both so eager to tell me how much they preferred French 18th-century drama to anything else, that by the end of the two minute conversation I was practically weeping with intimidation.
One of my colleagues and I were on our way out of the theatre at the end of the evening because the next morning we had class with all of these students at Eight AM.
Before turning away from the students for the evening, I said to the group, “Well, did you learn anything tonight?”
Two of the six students turned to me with bored expressions and said “No.”
My colleague and I were both rushing because I had not apparently finished the syllabus.
He went to turn off the lights, but there were still about 45 people in the theater. I had to say him, “Don’t you think we should leave those lights on?” This was very uncharacteristic of my colleague.
Right then one of the returning students walked in in a hospital gown, carrying a newborn baby in her arms. More accurately, the baby was kind of strapped to her chest. I remember being much more interested in seeing who the boy’s face with her was, presumably the dad, wearing a name tag which read Jose, then taking in the fact that this student of mine had a baby strapped to her chest. Human interest I guess.
“Ellen,” I said, “when did you have the baby?”
“Oh, I just came from the hospital,” she said brightly.
“Ellen, I don’t think you’re supposed to take the baby out for the first 10 days.” (What do I know?)
“No, it’s fine,” she said in her ever present upbeat attitude. Very Ellen.
Then I woke up. Can you tell I am going back to work on Monday after three weeks off? Hmmm.