All in all, this has not been my favorite school year. Which is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed myself tremendously when teaching my classes. The kind of course load that I carry is the kind of course load that anyone who enjoys teaching kids science should go to sleep dreaming about. 80% of my day is AP Biology and Honors Chemistry. 20% varies between Computer Science, and Science Research. It is a great schedule, probably the best in the district. By all rights, the year should have been fantastic for this reason alone. As it stands, my teaching is probably the only thing that has kept me sane this year.
While I have alluded to the grim events of the winter in several posts on this site, I have never outright stated what happened: In late December, our first child was stillborn at 37 weeks. As time moves on, things have gotten to the point where I don’t feel quite as awkward in writing about it. Besides, this is not some major secret in my life, and anyone who I speak to with any regularity is already well aware of the situation (this includes an entire district’s worth of employees, and a good number of students past and present). There is too much to be written on living through an experience like that, and much of it is squirreled away in private journals, where it will remain for a very long time. As far as this post goes, it should suffice to say that an event like the loss of a child is enough to put an indelible negative on the school year. I don’t imagine that I will ever have as bad a year on a personal level as I have had this year. At least, I hope I won’t, because whatever parade of sorrow that would entail is entirely too much to contemplate.
Following the immediate aftermath of the loss, things had gotten back to normal for the most part. And as we have moved in to the end of the school year, the pattern of wrapping up courses and preparing students for advancement has blossomed as it always does. So I thought that things would wind down in their typical way, the summer would come, and my lovely wife and I could go on with our lives.
So it was, until my lovely wife got in to a rather dramatic car accident last night while driving upstate to her parent’s house. Let’s state the most important fact at the beginning: She is absolutely fine. Better than fine, to be honest. The hairless cat who was traveling with her is similarly okay. But the accident, wherein she was rear-ended by some idiot traveling in excess of 80 miles per hour on a rain-slicked surface, was sufficient to cause her car to spin out of control on one of the busiest, fastest roads in the state, and total her car. At least I assume it will be totaled. There is no way that I can see that thing ever being road-worthy again.
I couldn’t care less about the car. As far as I can see, it did the job we bought it to do. And I don’t have too much use for the tide of anger that swells up when I think about the moron who caused the needless accident. But for the life of me, I can’t really imagine what my life would be like today if things had broken differently, and my lovely wife had not been able to walk away from the events of last night. What would today look like if I had to travel up to some hospital or other instead of the trudge that I made last night to a body shop in Harriman to kiss my wife, collect my cat, and ferry them the rest of the way to Saratoga? Given the way this year has gone, I’m pretty sure that would have been enough for me to cash in my chips, sell the house, and flee as far as I could.
That doesn’t have to happen. And I don’t have the words to express how thankful I am to circumstance that it doesn’t. Now, all I have to do is avoid having a heart attack at the prom, and I can finally tell the worst school year ever to kiss my ass.