You know, some days are bad. Like when you trip in the hall after science class and your skirt flips over your head, just as the senior you have a crush on is rounding the corner. Then there are days that are just okay. Maybe you find a twenty on the sidewalk, but you also get a parking ticket. Then there are days that are just so unspeakably awesome and everything is perfect and wonderful and all of your patience has paid off. And for me that day is today.
Lizzie teaches English. The students lover her because she makes the text come alive and because sometimes she swears when she gets really passionate about a particular point. She lets them get up and move around, sit on their desks or stand if it helps them engage more. They don’t just read aloud, they reenact, with props and costumes and more than once she’s fallen out of her chair laughing at some of the stuff they come up with.
Darcy teaches math next door, the last classroom to still have a chalkboard and a manual pencil sharpener. He’s quiet and strict, but the kids love him for making math make sense, for showing them how they’ll use it in their everyday lives. He uses architecture to explain geometry and cooking for algebra. Some say he holds an after school poker game to demonstrate statistics, but one should never listen to rumors.
Lizzie’s class tends to get, well, loud, and he’s taken to not-so-subtly knocking on the wall that they share. She always knocks back with “shave and haircut”, and won’t stop until he begrudgingly responds with the obligatory “two bits”. (”Do you mind?” he’d asked once, when his students were in the middle of a test. “How am I supposed to teach ‘Lord of the Flies’ without an actual conch, honestly Darcy”)
They’re voted Teachers of the Year, four years running, which earns them a picture in the superlatives section of the yearbook. (Some say Lizzie once beat him at the aforementioned poker games, and that’s why Mr. Darcy was pictured in a large hat and feather boa one year, but seriously, don’t listen to rumors.)
Most days, they stay late to tutor or to get ahead on grading and lesson plans. The first time Lizzie kicked off her heels and turned on music, she expected the knock on her door to be followed by a stern “some of us are trying to concentrate.” Instead, he held out a take-out container like a peace offering and she pulled out a bottle of vodka she kept locked in the bottom of her desk. They plotted a joint field trip to The Huntington and after a couple of weeks of the same routine, they don’t talk about work at all.