Locking the door behind me, I enter the eerie silence of morning. I’m alone, as usual, but with the children whose lives I mean to change on my mind. Anticipation and caffeine heighten my senses as my entire body quickly switches from a resting state to pure flight or flight survival mode. Forces are at work creating obstacles for me to jump today and I cut through the tension in the air walking to my car. One solitary thought occupies my mind, “Do I have it today?” Any moment now with eyes and ears trained to foresee disaster, something is bound to happen and it is not if but when, not what, but how I will overcome it.
My feet and clumsy teacher bag heavily crackle over the mostly frozen leaves and the frost stings my nose, reminding me that despite the early hour, I am awake and this is my life. Happily, I take a mental note of previous disasters that I am currently avoiding. My car window is still intact and the car starts without a problem. I drive out into the silent blackness of morning illuminated by one newly installed streetlight. At this point I’m thinking, “Maybe I have it today, ” but this is only because the copier isn’t broken yet, the schedule hasn’t been unexpectedly changed, my house hasn’t been breached while I was at school, and no one has cussed me out yet.
I need to get to school. I push the gas. I look both ways quickly without slowing all the way down at the four way stop because no one is awake yet. I need to find out what awaits me at school today. There will be something and the sooner I know, the sooner I can fix it. My students are waking up now. Many of them have either already had their catastrophe in the night or will on the way to school. In the few hours between when I see them and when I don’t, they live a life filled with obstacles. I speed walk into the building loaded down with everything I think I need and all the things I likely forgot. Do I have it today? I will. I have to, my students need me to have it.