The title of this post should say it all. But then, it does say it all, and so, therefore, here we go…
Sadly, my hopes for a quick return for the missing teacher for whom I am temporarily substituting this week haven’t blossomed. I was in school, teaching English (or my irrational facsimile thereof), again: faking my way through Mass Media (when a student who was to make a presentation didnʼt appear) and dancing the sophomores toward writing a persuasive essay, among other periods of (substitute) teacher-induced tedium. I hope I didn’t bore the students too excessively.
Unfortunately, I had a displeasing revelation about myself, at least about how I may have changed in these nearly two years of retirement (and Iʼm not so sure but that the quality I just recognized in my schoolroom performance wasn’t omnipresent and obvious to everyone but me for my 35 years as a teacher). I have grown garrulous… noticeably so, annoyingly so, extensively so.
Coaching a couple of kids with improvisation after school, I realized I was talking a lot not much to their benefit, if even minutely to their benefit at all (mostly about what I remembered about the school where state contest is to be this weekend). And that realization made me reflect back over my several spates of talking-too-much during the school day. It wasnʼt a pretty reminiscence.
Old men, I guess, just get chatty. During my Monday in the classroom, I reflected verbosely far too much on the past, mentioned loquaciously too often how I might have done things myself or what I remembered, and certainly delivered my “listeners” (to be optimistic) into somnolence or distraction or eager desire to depart as soon as possible. Reviewing my performances, the hot rush of well-earned humiliation poured through me.
Perhaps I have been sitting alone too long at the computer and shambling in splendid isolation about the house (thanks, Warren Zevon, never too wordy in his lifetime, for that phrase — itʼs certainly where I thoroughly deserve to return), and so the opportunity to spit words without cessation at several passively captive audiences was uncontrollably stimulating. Or maybe dictating my thoughts, as I am now, has triggered an elderly but extroverted garrulity in my otherwise shy and retiring demeanor. All I know is that I blushed with shame driving home to think of my pointless blather. So sad to have become just another tiresome, talkative old bore.
The one positive bit of light in this unpleasant personal illumination is that, having recognized my verbal lack of control, maybe embarrassment will help me hold my tongue when I go back into the pedagogical den tomorrow.
Short enough for us? I didnʼt think so.