The Life of Bon: So... this is nostalgia?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

So... this is nostalgia?

Nostalgia?  Oh yah, I get it all the time.  But do you ever get so crazy sick nostalgic for a part of your life that isn't even over yet?  Cuz I do...

Sometimes Hubs and I will sleep in on Saturday mornings and then when we wake up at a disgustingly late hour (I won't tell you what time because that would embarrass me, but I will tell you it's about a six hour swing from the time I wake up on weekdays) and take a nice little stroll over to McDonald's.  Nothing says breakfast/lunch/ I-woke-up-ridiculosly-late like french fries and a coke, right?  And then, when we're driving back in our pajamas with nothing else to do the rest of the day but hang out together, lay around, and chow on French Fries, the nostalgia hits.  One day this will end.  One day we'll have little kids and sleeping in until noon won't be an option anymore.  One day we'll have soccer games and chores and dance recitals and there won't be long, lazy Saturdays.  And one day we'll discover that McDonakld's french fries are gross, and we'll get no more pleasure from those grease-drenched slivers of fat.

Nostalgia often hits me at school.  When my students say something ridiculous, when they make me stop in the middle of a lesson to laugh and laugh, when they write brilliant essays.  And I look at them, all forty of them, filling the seats of my classroom, and boom.  Nostalgia wave.  One day this will end.  One day I won't be a 25 year old girl trying to teach forty pubescent17 year olds about the beauty of words.  One day I won't walk down the halls like I own them, I won't be able to yell at kids because they didn't bring a pencil, and I won't eat with my favorite teachers during faculty lunch where the topics vary from stupid questions our students ask us to first kisses. 

My most wave of nostalgia today was brought on my two things. 

Thing Numero Uno:

One of my students copied a picture of my face, taped it onto a book in my classroom, and then displayed it proudly (and stealthily!  I didn't discover it until who knows how long after it had been done?) in the room for me to see this morning.  Clever tikes, aren't they?

Thing Numero Dos:
I was in the middle of teaching some root words to my students.  "Alright, guys, who remembers what the root "fid" means?" 
Hand went up, "Faith!" 
"Yep.  You got it.  Where've you seen the root?" 
They all started hollering out of turn like they always do, kids got not control these days.


"Uh... fiddle doesn't quite work.  You got the other ones, though.  Now I'm going to show you how knowing the root can help you figure out what a word means.  So here's a word:  Fidelity.  Knowing that fid means faith, what would you guess fidelity means?

Silence.  Stumped em.

Smart little Suzy slyly raised her hand.  "The act of being faithful....?"

"Nailed it!"  I said enthusiastically.  Kids are really much smarter than they think they are.

Jared's hand shot right up.  He was clearly not okay with the answer.  "That doesn't make any sense." 
"What do you mean it doesn't make any sense?"
"Like when they say in the news that there were four fidelities...I don't get it."

I didn't get it either.  I stared at Jared trying to figure what the heck was going on in that little head of his.

"You're thinking of fatalities Jared!  There were four fatalities, not fidelities!" Amber, sitting next to him realized exactly what was going on.

"Oh... ha ha...."  Jared laughed sheepishly.  And then we all joined in, laughing because English is a confusing language where half the words sound the same as other words and none of them are spelled like they should be.

And in that moment, I had a sudden pang of nostalgia.  I missed teaching.  I missed laughing with my students about Jared who thinks fidelity means fatality, about Gail who thinks whores means horse, about our principal who thinks "has been stoled" is proper grammar.  I missed it so much.  Even though I was right there, smack in the middle of the classroom and forty bratty teenagers.  They're not really brats.  I just say that to sound cool.

I imagined my life without teaching and felt that sadness, that yearning to go back to... back to what I already had? 

There's not much you can do when nostalgia hits.  Especially when you are nostalgic for something you are doing at that exact moment.  So I made the goal to enjoy the moment I am in because it all passes much too quickly, and then continued on my lesson about the fascinating power of root words.

I mean, what else can a girl do?

Scenes from a classroom.  I love it.


  1. This is so touching <3 I often feel nostalgia, such as this...It's beautiful and sad at the same time. I really enjoyed the part about the root word "fid", as well. I am very happy to be following you back!
    Ps. Don't judge me, since I am nowhere near as good of a writer as you!

  2. Sometimes I think I'm the Nostalgia Queen - it can be so sad. The other day I was cleaning out a trunk, and found a whole bunch of old notebooks that were filled here and there with little doodles and notes my sister made to me throughout our lifetime. Now she's all married and moved across the ocean. Huge nostalgia wave!

  3. Well Bon at least you're enjoying the phase of life you're in and not wishing it away like so many people do. Don't worry, one day you'll be empty nesters and you and Hubs can stroll over to McDonald's at noon when you're sixty. And you can always go back to teaching when the kiddos are out of the house. I just renewed my license... hope to go back some day.

  4. I know the feeling! During my Sophomore year of college I went on Semester at Sea and everyday I knew I was one day closer to being finished with my adventure around the world - I remember standing in front of the Taj Mahal and saying to myself "Jenna, this is it, you might never be here again. Be sure to take lots of mental (and real) pictures and take everything in".

    I think it's just a sign of appreciating where we are in life at that exact moment, so much so that we don't want it to end.

    Beautiful, beautiful post, I can tell you are one of the favorite teachers!


  5. Ah that is perfect! I've never heard it put into words before, but I often get nostalgia for something I'm currently doing. I think what it really comes down to, is that you are having a wonderful appreciation for something great in your life. How fantastic is it when we can realize how good something is when we actually have it/are doing it, rather than when it's gone as it is with true nostalgia?

  6. No one ever taught me that and I was in Honors English.

    I think the feeling you're describing is what makes a good teacher. It's when teachers lose that feeling that they become mundane, run of the mill educators with no purpose in their jobs. I hope you always keep that feeling tht you call nostalgia.

    On a related note, a 4th grader was describing the process of rain. "Condensation, Evaporation, Prostitution." It's so difficult to tell him he's trying to say "Precipitation" without laughing.

  7. Awh the classroom! I taught sophomore english for 6 years until this year. I now stay home with our little one...some days I do miss those incredibly funny kids, and most days...I don't. : ) Once a student asked me how to spell "side kick." He know, like a mind reader? OOOOhhhh you mean psychic! Lol!

  8. is it weird that this made me nostalgic for right now- the days of being young and married without kids AND nostalgic for teaching {...i haven't even started practicums yet ha!}?

    this made me smile.

    mrs. dtf

    p.s. i have played bike polo before {i even scored a goal once!}, but mostly my husband just plays because everyone is a million times better than me so it's pretty embarrassing.

  9. Uh fiddle, that is hilarious.

    Love your blog too, and I'm now your newest follower.


  10. Brilliantly described, girly. I love this! It made me laugh out loud, reading some of these kiddies' responses. I'm sure you could write a book from everything you've seen and heard as a teacher.

    I feel like nostalgia stalks me every which way I go, sometimes. Like I can't escape it! But then I put it back in its perspective place and I'm ok :) It is such a good reminder to live in the now. Enjoy life. And just be.

    So thank you for reminding me of this today!

    Jeanine :))

  11. Don't say that, sweet! :) I like America, I wanna go there some day!
    You can visit Portugal, this is really beautiful here :)