So this semester is pretty much sucking. I'm far less recovered from the octopus attack than I'd thought and even the small amount of work I'm doing is kicking my butt. The good news is I'm coping better than I was a month and a half ago when classes started. The bad news is that's still far worse than pre-octopus.
Meanwhile, campus has been hit with the plague. Students and faculty are dropping like flies. And today the Peanut got it. Woke up unable to talk and utterly miserable. It was even one of those teacher-whatever days when there's no school and he would have spent the day at the rec-center. But no, he was too sick.
One of the perks I lost when I stopped being regular faculty was having the scheduler coordinate with Mr. Mochi's department to try to make sure we didn't both teach at the same time. Until now, we'd never had more than a quarter hour of overlap (labs being different lengths than other classes). This semester, even though I'm only teaching one class, it's simultaneous with one of his. So someone, who turned out to be me, had to take the Peanut to class with them.
This didn't start out well. First, the plan to have him watch a DVD at the back of the room fell apart when a random parent who will remain nameless of the male persuasion packed the wrong headphones (yeah, I should have checked, but he swore he'd taken care of it). Which might not have been a problem except that this was the day I was teaching Night by Elie Wiesel. If you haven't read it, it's the most soul-wrenching account of the Holocaust on the market. Great topic for a 10 year old (insert sarcasm). I walked into the class thinking this was going to be a disaster.
My little boy's first day in college was a huge success. Within the first 5 minutes he put his book down and spent the rest of the 75 minutes listening attentively (fie on the teachers who say he has problems with his attention span!) And then there was the magic moment.
Okay, so it was a bit of a inside job, but only a little bit. There's a place in the book where they talk about the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur, juxtaposed with the selection. The Jewish kids in the class took a shot at explaining the meaning of these holidays, and totally missed all the elements of life, death, self-examination, atonement, redemption, etc. that parallel the horror of the selection and the characters emotional struggle at that point in the book. I was about to explain it, when a little, timid hand went up from my baby. And he told a room full of college students about the real meaning of the cycle of years and life in Jewish tradition. And got it exactly right.
My little boy went to college and did good. At 11. I'm kvelling.