Caveat: The Shortcomings

I worked a second day today as a substitute at Craig Elementary School.

Today, I was a librarian.

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I even figured out how to check-in and check-out books, using their computer…. Even though the computer was a Mac, which I normally wouldn’t touch for questions of philosophical purity.

I had a bit of a breakthrough realization about this new work context: in terms of enrollment, Craig Elementary is actually smaller than Karma Academy (where I was teaching in Korea). They are not strictly comparable, of course – the latter being a private specialty school, not a public school. But in terms of the number of kids that I actually have to know, it’s a pertinent observation.

Being a substitute librarian is easier than the kindergarten gig I had on Monday. Well… it’s more laid back, anyway. Still, I got to see the kindergarteners again. And one of the kids said a very “Craig, Alaska” thing as part of a general review of my job qualifications: “You’re not bad as a substitute. You’re funny. But your face-hair is too short.”

That comment needs some explanation. I noticed that most men in Craig have beards. That’s one reason I made a passing effort at letting one grow on my face last fall and over Christmas. More notably, all the male teachers at Craig Elementary appear to have beards. So the child was just pointing out the obvious: though I might seem qualified to be a substitute teacher, I clearly had obvious shortcomings, because really I didn’t look quite right.

Caveat: Poem #1005

a tree entails a gentle growing
a tree elides the sky above
a tree betokens time's dull flowing
a tree rejects the earth's cold love
a tree observes the moon's redundant
a tree points out the sun's abundant
a tree explores the air's canals
a tree will fail to show morale
a tree creates its own committees
a tree can drink the dreams of clouds
a tree provides the beasts their shrouds
a tree dislikes the teeming cities
a tree neglects its own biology
a tree reviews epistemology