I always told myself I would become a teacher if all else failed. It did. It was a feeling of dreaded expectation, a last chance. I am often asked how long I plan on staying in Hawaii, as if I just arrived yesterday. Today, I answered that I have been here ten years but it has really been twenty. Archaeologist does not count toward teaching years but it does towards detective years. One year of sweaty shovel-trowel-broom-screen-notes-mapping-lab labor equals about ten in detective years.
My too many questions, too many loud opinions, too much, just too much. Hawaii Teacher has been a good disguise for my real work as detective. I can pretend to be filling out endless data sheets, observing my peers, being observed, and studying the "standards"; all the while eating countless bags of Cheetos, and still go undetected. Only I detect in myself an unhappiness when the kids have left the room. Have I prepared them for college? It would be nice if they read a book on their own once in awhile or maybe peeked at the Discovery Channel. It will never happen. I walk around with my pretty Hawaii State Public Library System bag I bought for a cool fifty cents. Maybe it will brainwash the students into getting their own cards someday (the Hilo library stays open on Saturdays) and maybe they'll venture into one. They are not allowed in the one on campus during school hours at our school. Go figure. Go figure where all the Race to the Top money has gone. Spent. Forgotten. Plus, they eliminated the school librarian (half-time position) four years ago.