I am…oops, I mean, I WAS a teacher…

Dear Readers,

Here’s my second day of blogging and my twelfth day out of Camden City Public Schools.  Oops, I mean, Camden City Schools.  Somehow the people in charge ditched “Public.” 

There are many reasons for this change that I don’t understand, nor wish to understand.  However, I have a sneaky suspicion that it’s because ….at least TWICE,  over nineteen years,  I saw papers come from downtown with the word spelled without the “l” in public.  Why not err on the side of caution?  By the way, I swear that I did not make that up. 

I’m feeling more relaxed than other summers.  I don’t have that urgent feeling that I must complete all my projects, visit all my friends and relatives, travel all over the world and get slim and beautiful in just two months.  Aha!  I have the rest of my life.

As I’m typing, I’m looking at my bureau where stands a congratulations card from a friend:  A Word of Caution:  It takes a certain amount of time to adjust from the rigors of the workplace to a life of retirement and ease. About two minutes ought to do it.

That’s so funny, but I think adjustment might take me longer.  Teacher retirees tell me that the reality of retirement hits when school supplies go on sale in August and you realize that you’re not going to spend a few hundred bucks, or more, at Staples, Wal-Mart, Target, Robert Bros., or Lakeshore.  

I did have a clue, though, right here in July.  I was at the check-in at Wegman’s (buying food—nothing for school kids)  and  I grabbed a few of the sturdy recyclable bag and started to say to the cashier,  “I am a teacher and I had a lot of these bags, but I gave them to my students.”

I caught myself at “I am” and I managed to stutter, “I was………”  

I stood there in line and the thunderclap nearly knocked me to the floor.  I am no longer a teacher.  I was a teacher. 

ALERT!  ALERT!  ALERT!  Readjustment of my identity is in order.

Next time in line, I might say, “Hey, I’m a blogger.” 

In case the cashier wants to know?

Marguerite Ferra

From Cramer Hill







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