Yesterday was my first day of school. Because I missed the train (or it never arrived), I walked briskly all the way from Market to 24th and Clipper to the James Lick Middle School for my Introduction to Spanish Literature class at the City College of San Francisco. I was only ten minutes late, but covered in sweat, but no one seemed to care or notice, because they were in the midst of explaining, one by one, what they had done this summer, and they all looked stressed out.
After making these very interesting introductions, we then turned to the course syllabus. Our instructor called on individuals to read different sections out loud.
It was at this moment that I felt uncomfortable. Who does that anymore?
Then we had to group up in pairs to ask eachother insightful questions like, “Do you live in house, condominum, or apartment?”
Then we watched Before Night Falls, which wasn’t even in Spanish.
In the middle of this, during the ten minute break, I overheard someone say, regarding our classroom, “It smells just like it used to.”
This other guy said, “When were you here, one or two?”
One or two? What does that mean. I can’t stand it when I can’t understand what people are talking about. But then I sniffed around the room, trying to catch their meaning, and noticed the hand drawn portraits of past presidents and community leaders stapled to the walls.
They went to junior high here. I get it. They didn’t mean one or two, but ’01 or ‘2.
My God. I’m old enough to be their teenaged mother.