Monday, February 22, 2010

interpretations welcome

I enter the large room and sit. Across a large, dark, antique-feeling desk, he sits: the man who denied my leave of absence application, and who I must convince to change his mind. This is my only chance.

I thought it would be only us, yet I am not surprised to see so many. On my right sit members of the Board. I glance at Keith, who gives me a small, knowing nod, and a barely perceptible grin. I know, if he could, he'd be flashing me the "thumbs up" sign. I smile back. I look further over to the right, for Rick, but do not see him. Not so much disappointment as wonderment. Where is he? On my left sit at least a dozen other people; I'm not sure who they are, but know they are part of the administration. I feel supported by their presence nonetheless.

I begin to state my case, which is full of all kinds of things I did while teaching sixth grade at Carmel. I mention the Student Council created from nothing, and the school store built by students. The Egyptian Museum. Comer facilitating. It's all irrelevant, but I feel the need to convey a sense of history, and to somehow make him know that I have given my heart and soul to this district for fourteen years and deserve to be treated better than this.

I find myself at the part where I want to bring up cancer, the role it plays in my decision, and its transformational power over my life. I realize that, against all recommendations, I'm going to get emotional. I sit up taller, look right and left, and suddenly realize that I can share the story objectively, without tears, and so I do. I'm not sure what I say; I only know that I am confident and self-assured when I say it.

Finally, it is the end of our time together. We both stand, and shake hands across the table. The others gather round and begin to discuss the situation. I await the verdict. It's unclear. Do I get the leave of absence? Or not? Everybody's talking, but no one seems to know the answer. I am confused, but happy. It's like not winning a medal at the Olympics, but knowing you skated your best.

I am ushered outside, and there, before my eyes, parked on the street, sits a white convertible. Just like the '67 Datsun Fairlady I had my eye on at Concourse Auto for awhile. They're giving it to me as a prize! I'm not sure what I've done to win it, but I assume it means that I have been granted my sabbatical. I admire the well-worn leather interior, reach in and touch the steering wheel, marvel at the old dials, and wonder what it will be like to drive it.


jana said...

I find that your need to express your history to the person in authority is reflected nicely in the old car. The car is your escape vehicle. So the foundation or "history" that you have built thus far will actually lead you to greater freedom, perhaps?

Ani Rose said...

thanks for sharing your dream - (moer of us should)... they are powerful in so many ways...

I love the moment when you know you can share your story objectively, and go ahead and do it.
that seems, to me, to be a point of "change" in almost any sharing or ''explaining" of past experiences which have lived in our emotional life for a very long time. It's like self-validation for what we have been through, the healing process, and now the simple truth of it -- ALL of which deserve their own kind of attention/recognition.
Not sure if you are "actually" thinking sabatical, or if the home-school thing is kind of the same thing? but in the dream it certainly seems like a good move.... a positive place... surprisingly abundant...?

suesun said...

Thank you, Jana and Ani Rose. I hadn't thought about the car being the past, only the future. Thanks for pointing out that it is BOTH!

Ani Rose - yes, I applied for a leave of absence for the 2010-2011 school year, and the superintendent denied it. I have the *real* meeting with him tomorrow at 12:30 pm.

Anonymous said...

NO F WAY!!!!!!! They denied it??????? I say that cool car is your ticket to your dream! I hope they change their minds but if not, ya GOTTA do it anyway! Leaves of absence are the best memories of my life (so far)! Lynn

Anonymous said...

Sue--this dream is powerful in that it envisions what you want to happen today. I'm thinking of you in solidarity!

Beth said...

So you ask the universe for permission to take a leave of absence and you get a car in return. Looks like you may not get exactly what you thought, but you are blessed in unexpected and surprisingly powerful ways. Enjoy your new car, regardless of the outcome of today's decision. Hugs, Beth