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November

November

I remember when I used to love November, a season of change.

Back then, my hair was auburn and shiny, and my body was thin and lithe.  I loved going for a run in the November air, feeling the cold, cleansing sting my lungs, and reveling in my ability to push myself through it.

Back then, I’d watch the leaves falling from the trees, and I’d imagine they were like agile dancers in my own private performance.

Now, November is a taut string.  No, that’s not string…it’s a piece of someone’s viscous gum stuck under the desk and I’m pulling and pulling, but it just stretches into infinity and now I’m winding the germ-ridden stickiness around my fingers and I’m getting nowhere.

Now, November is less about falling leaves, and more about fallout.
        She thought she could handle school after her mother’s death this summer; but she just couldn’t.
        He hoped his summer school grades would help him meet the UC requirements; but they didn’t.
        I thought September’s terse parent meeting would reverse her lackadaisical inertia; but it didn’t.

Now, November only offers only a meager respite.  I am over worked.  We are all over worked.
        No, I cannot answer another email about your son’s grades. 
        No, I cannot grade another essay riddled with fragments and run-ons.
        No, I cannot apply the ESLRs to my lesson plans.

But I remember when I used to love November, a season of change.  November reminds me of that song we used to sing in Mass in the third grade, bundled up with hooded jackets and woolen leg warmers, watching the breath come out of our mouths as we sang: Make me a channel of Your peace.

            Not so much to be consoled, as to console.
            Not so much to be understood, as to understand.
            Not so much to be loved, but to love with all my soul.

And so it is November when the winds of lost expectation blow a cold, cleansing sting through my lungs, and I watch my childhood dancers fall to the ground, knowing I still have the ability to push myself through it.

            Yes, I will still write that letter of recommendation for you.
            Yes, I will accept his late work, but this is really the last time.
            Yes, I will craft one more email to explain the footnotes in Edline.

I remember when I used to love November, a season of change.
            And for this
            I am
           Thankful.
 

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