Summer Version 2.0

by lisa st john

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I hear it all the time. As soon as someone learns I am a public high school teacher, it starts. “Oh! It must be so nice to have summers off!” A low growl begins in my inner gut as I decide whether the human uttering the offensive comment is worthy of an explanation or not. Taylor Mali explains it best. What DO teachers make? Puhlease.

I don’t really have the energy for that argument right now, however. I am currently embroiled in a conflicting dialectic with Summer Lisa. Work Lisa hates her. I mean that with the best definition of hate in mind—a feeling so strong that it circles back around dangerously close to love.

True cruelty is apathy. e.g.: “I wish I cared enough to hate them.”

This conversation turns into a polemic at times, but I can’t help but feel that it’s an important discussion. It goes something like this:

Work Lisa (WL): “You need to step up your shit. We are way behind in grading.”

Summer Lisa (SW): “It’s okay. It’s too nice out to grade. The garden needs work too, and …”

WL: “No. We have essays to read and lessons to plan. Think about the kids!”

SW: “I love the kids. The kids aren’t here now. Just a lot of Oompa-Loompa paperwork. Let’s go outside…”

WL: “We usually have the whole semester planned out by now, we’ve got to–”

SL: “Maybe we don’t need to have everything planned out so far in advance, maybe–”

WL: “SHUT UP!”

SL (whispering): “Oh look…Gibbs is head-slapping Tony again–”

WL: “STOP! We are soooo moving the computer desk away from the television… .”

SL: “No!”

WL: “EXCUSE me?!”

SL: “Wouldn’t it be good to dig our toes in the sand again? To read uninterrupted? Remember daydreaming? Remember writing?”

WL (pause): “There’s no sand. It’s almost winter.”

SL: “There’s sand just an airplane ride away. And almost winter is not the same as winter anyway.”

WL: “Well…Missy is coming tomorrow. It’s always good to play.”

SL: “YES! Now you are getting it. Puppy joy!”

WL: “It’s not that I don’t love you and need you ya’ know. I just–”

SL: “in-just spring…”

WL: “See what I mean?! Off on another tangent… .”

SL: “You love my tangents. You love me. You just don’t remember me that well. It’s been awhile. It’s okay. I’m right here.”

missy

p.s.: Many thanks to mi hermana (L) for letting me steal the Oompah-Loompah phrase regarding idiotic, meaningless paperwork.

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