Leaving a place close to the heart is always hard. For us in this lifestyle, it is unavoidable, yet still very hard. We know from the moment we arrive somewhere that the day is coming when we have to leave, and for a long time that day seems to be in the distant future, until suddenly it is upon us. Like now.
Today is our last day in Matamoros. When I arrived here, I never thought I’d be so sad when this day came. We’ve been preparing for it for the last couple of months: slowly downsizing some of our belongings, planning for our departure, having the packers and movers come, cleaning the …Continue reading →
Just when I thought I couldn’t keep my left knee bent a moment longer, our driver stopped the truck in the middle of the road, opened the door, and got out, telling us he’d be right back. He disappeared into a crude little house made of cinderblocks, sun-dried clothes dangling on a line outside. In the truck, we looked at each other, murmuring our guesses as to where he’d gone, when suddenly he emerged with a plastic cup of homemade mezcal, pride in his eyes, and urged us …Continue reading →
I think there comes a time in the school year for every teacher when he or she announces the end of his or her teaching career. I’ve certainly reached that point each year that I’ve taught, and this year was no exception. In fact, I had more than one “I’m-never-teaching-again” moment this year. There were times when I felt frustrated and disconnected from my students; times when I questioned whether my students were learning; and times when I doubted my decision to pursue education as a career at all. I’d gone through this cycle in previous years, which naturally leads me to ask myself, Why do I keep putting myself through this? Continue reading →
Remember when you were in high school and every year the soon-to-be graduating classes of students older than you seemed to check out a few weeks before the end of the year? And how after three years of witnessing the same pattern of apathy among those students to whom you had always looked up, it was only inevitable that you, too, came down with a major case of senioritis, counting the days until graduation? In all of that time, it never occurred to me that teachers might share in that feeling, anxiously awaiting the end of the school year and silently (or not) willing it to come faster. After all, teachers lived in the supply closet in the classroom, right? And if you ever did see them …Continue reading →
The idea of a Mexican vacation, for most Americans, conjures images of palm trees, beachside margaritas, and sun soaked afternoons by the pool, typically in popular destinations like Cancún, Cozumel, Acapulco, and Puerto Vallarta. Often, cruises or all-inclusive resorts are part of the deal, with perhaps a visit or two into town to buy some crafts at a market or enjoy an authentic taco or michelada. And while there is a lot to be said about lying on the beach for three or four days …Continue reading →
I see him most mornings. Every morning when I run to the bridge. He’s always there, around the same spot, but sometimes on different sides of the trail. He wears a tan trench coat, the same shade of tan as the trail, and admittedly, I have nearly tripped over him more than once. I used to be afraid of him, not knowing if he is dangerous. Perhaps I was more afraid of the pile of garbage that is his bed, his home. He is surrounded by styrofoam cups, plastic wrappers, and glass bottles. His hair is dark and matted, his skin a deep brown, weathered from
…Continue reading →