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Just another manic Monday

(With apologies to the lovely Bangles)

I didn't sleep last night, and that always puts me in an "off" mood for the day. I get to work, grab a Diet Coke and plunge into the day, head full of fuzz and body struggling to keep up the pace set by a school full of teens.

Students straggle in. The sophomores are doing generalized testing this week, so my classes are scattered - a few kids missing here and there. They turn in their weekly reflection papers (this one on Fr. Damien - who took care on the lepers on Molokai - and the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick), and check the board for today's work.

One of the boys seems to think he's playing baseball - he's making all sorts of weird gestures. "Are you telling Dom to steal third?" I ask, and he goes back to his reading. They take delight in pointing out a mistake I made in a worksheet. They shuffle out, and in comes the next herd.

My afternoon is quiet, as most of the seniors are done. A couple stop by, one to drop off an open house invite and another for a signature on some paperwork. They have service presentations this week and have some questions.

It doesn't seem like much, this teaching life, when you break it down day-to day. Yet, I get the chance to tease and teach, instruct and ignore, laugh and be laughed at. In the front of my room hangs a crucifix, Christ in His greatest moment of sacrifice, and that is the beacon. It may be a manic Monday, but it is always a merciful Monday, where Christ teaches all of us - me and the students - how to manage in this life, so that we can be ready for the next.

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I saw you
today
as you guided
your little man across that busy street.

You were wearing some
big man boots
and
watching cars and lights.

Your little man had on
black sneakers and
a Mickey Mouse hat
that bounced
as he walked.

He wasn't watching nothing but
your big man boots
and
the white stripes of the crosswalk.

Just before
he got to the sidewalk again,
his step bounced a bit
- he hopped over
a spot where the asphalt broke.

You turned to look,
holding out a hand to
your little man.
Not rushed or angry,
just making sure
he got up
on that sidewalk.

Then you walked on,
in your big man boots,
face into a cold Michigan wind,
with the little man behind,
his hat bouncing.