My senior year of college, back when I was still going to become a teacher, I had to present a lesson to a class of fellow education majors, as if I were teaching high school students, and I must have practiced five or six times. It had to be a certain length in size—maybe 15 minutes?—and it needed to include visual aids and an outline you handed the instructor ahead of time, with handouts maybe. I don’t remember what I was teaching on, but I remember there was a puzzle involved.
So there I was, holding up cardboard pieces of some greater picture, lecturing about how each puzzle piece seems ugly and pointless on its own but beautiful when it fits in with the others—who knows how this linked to the subject matter—and my professor was in the back, looking at his watch, not calling “time,” which would mean I could stop.
Palms sweating, completely out of material, I kept yammering, on and on about those puzzle pieces, how our lives were full of small circumstances that were just segments of something larger, how the underside doesn’t reveal the master design, how you have to keep a bigger perspective about things. The professor still hadn’t said anything. So I did the one thing he told us never to do: I finished, picked up my things and sat down, tears in my eyes signaling the nervous breakdown I would have in the hallway later.
(The irony was, a week or so later when I got my grade, I found out I hadn’t been under time, but the professor had just forgotten to signal.)
Anyway, I still think about that day sometimes, both about how ridiculously important that one assignment in that one class seemed and about how, while I talked about not forgetting the bigger picture, I was doing exactly that.
Life feels busier in the summer. Do you feel that way? There’s so much more you can do, so many more opportunities to do all of it, and even with so much more daylight, you find you drop things and start to feel behind, like you’re not catching up.