Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"Summer Night" of GREASE + The First Day of my 21st Year

Boys:   Summer lovin', had me a blast
Girls:    Summer lovin', happened so fast
Boys:   Met a girl crazy for me
Girls:    Met a boy cute as can be
Both:   Summer days drifting away to, uh oh, those summer nights  -GREASE

Here we go again.  It's year 21 and I'm singing on the first day of school.  This years's song of choice:  GREASE and Summer Nights!
Boys:   Well-a, well-a, well-a, uh!  Tell me more, tell me more did you get very far?
Girls:    Tell me more, tell me more like does he have a car?   -GREASE 

I've always known that teaching was meant to be a struggle.
Boys:   She swam by me, she got a cramp
Girls:    He ran by me, got my suit damp
Boys:   I saved her life, she nearly drowned
Girls:    He showed off splashing around
Both:   Summer sun, something's begun but, uh oh, those summer nights.  -GREASE

You're supposed to wrestle with the teaching of books.
Girls:    Well-a, well-a, well-a, uh! Tell me more, tell me more, was it love at first sight?
Boys:   Tell me more, tell me more did she put up a fight?  -GREASE

Literature is humbling, trying to break out from an established mold... soul crushing is more like it.
Boys:   Took her bowling in the arcade
Girls:    We went strolling; drank lemonade
Boys:   We made out under the dock
Girls:    We stayed out till ten o'clock
Both:   Summer fling don't mean a thing but, uh oh, those summer nights.  -GREASE

Most days...I am talking to the walls.  Kids groan at the mere mention of Atticus Finch or The Prince of Denmark's soliloquies.  They drop their heads to the desk when Dickens comes out and even my favorite poems from Bukowski and Frost and Silverstein make eyes roll out of heads.
Boys:   Tell me more, tell me more But you don't gotta brag
Girls:    Tell me more, tell me more 'Cause he sounds like a drag.  -GREASE


Then there's co-workers who treat you like a punching bag or punchline...
Girls:    He got friendly holding my hand
Boys:   Well, she got friendly down in the sand
Girls:    He was sweet, just turned eighteen
Boys:   Well, she was good, you know what I mean
Both:   Summer heat, boy and girl meet but, uh oh, those summer nights.  -GREASE

And all of that combined together makes for an... impossible challenge.
Girls:    Tell me more, tell me more how much dough did he spend?
Boys:   Tell me more, tell me more could she get me a friend?  -GREASE

So... what would any lunatic do?  He would attempt a production of the American musical GREASE, of course!
Girls:    It turned colder; that's where it ends
Boys:   So I told her we'd still be friends
Girls:    Then we made our true love vow
Boys:   Wonder what she's doing now
Both:   Summer dreams ripped at the seams…. But oh, those summer nights.  -GREASE

Standing on the first day of school, staring into the faces of thirty strangers class after class, foreign faces, apathetic eyes, hollow expressions, bored and loathsome, full of empty hate and confusion ... and here's me singing this crazy song ... so hopeful as I dance with my hands extended out... I feel a million miles away from any other soul, completely alone... trying to reel someone, anyone toward me.  Laugh at me all you want.  Point and laugh and shake your head.  Turn your back and ignore me like I'm not even there.  The days of trying to reach one...just one student are long gone.  I'm doing this now, for myself.

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