– I’m wearing a three-piece tweed suit (with elbow patches). “Good point,” I say, “But would Barthes agree?”
– My flannel shirt is on backwards. I don’t notice and no one tells me.

– A student approaches me: “Thank you,” they say, “I’ll never forget your class.”
– A student approaches me: “Your sneakers are dirty as hell.” I ask if dirty is good or bad. Silence.

– C’mon, gang! We’re doing a walk-out to protest the erosion of women’s rights in this country. Everybody meet by the main stairs at 10:30 AM.
– Our collective bargaining agreement forbids participation in protests, demonstrations, and/or any other civic exercises that prevent or disrupt the flow of the work day, per Chancellor’s, Regulation 6-C, Part 3-F.

– O Captain! My Captain!
– Please get off the desk.

– We laugh collegially in the teacher’s lounge, relishing our shared purpose.
– I weep silently in CVS—they’re out of coconut water.

– My young scholars engage in yet another spirited and respectful debate.
– “I think if you would just let go of him…”

The New Yorker.
– TikTok.

– James Baldwin.
– Jake Paul.

– Through parent-teacher conferences, I establish a snappy, almost Sorkin-esque rapport with students’ families.
– Again, ma’am, despite what he may have told you, I did not give your son “special permission” to vape in class.

– Everyone is task-oriented and collaborating like a team of Swiss engineers.
– Three kids are shopping for vintage Rolexes during class. I ask how they can afford those. Someone takes out their cell phone. I ask them to put it away. They tell me, “It’s a business call.” I think it actually might be.

– Dog-eared pages, well-worn covers, extensive marginalia.
– We have to read?

– It’s mid-April; although the seniors are feeling the graduation itch, they remain as engaged as ever.
– It’s mid-April. There are a dozen kids I haven’t seen since November.

– I get to work bright and early, confident in my place in the world.
– I accidentally get off at the wrong stop, take it as a sign, call in sick, and go home.

– We dream as a group—we imagine new futures for BIPOC communities. I lean into the racial discomfort and lead compelling discussions that matter to the kids.
– “I meant that I’m only racist insofar as all White people are racist. Please… One at a time!”

– My lesson plans are meticulous, carefully-crafted, and extremely rigorous.
– I have crudely scrawled some runes on the burnt husk of a desk chair. Sucks to your asmar, Piggy—the only law is natural law.