Saturday, October 24, 2009

Glory Days

As an elementary school principal I often have to intervene when children feel they are being bullied. An unkind comment, not being invited to the “cool kid’s” birthday party, these are monumental moments in the life of a kid. To make them feel better I often try to explain to kids my philosophy of “Glory Days”. I don’t think there is a single kid so far that has ever understood what I am talking about but they often nod and say they do so I will stop talking and they can just go back to class.

I am going to try my Glory Days theory here:

When I was in high school I was very aware I was not in the popular group. I had plenty of friends and an active social life but I was not Cheryl. I distinctly remember Cheryl roller skating around the rink with her peroxide bleached hair. I thought she was so cool. If only I could be like her. (My mother would have killed me if I had tried that peroxide stuff on my hair)

After high school graduation I went off to university and was living the life of a poor student. When I went home for vacation Cheryl wasn’t in school she was already making real money as a teller at the bank. She wore cool clothes. Then I found out she married Sean (cool Sean) and they had their own apartment! I thought Cheryl had it all.

As time went on, I finished university, started my teaching career, had children and went back to visit my hometown. I ended up in the bank and there she was .......Cheryl! She looked exactly the same. I mean exactly! Years later she was still a teller, still looking like she did in high school. Then my theory hit me! Glory Days! Yes Cheryl had a very cool high school career, those were her Glory Days, but she had peaked! It was never going to get any better for her.

So I wasn’t a cool kid in high school. I wasn't and never will be a cool kid. I have a good life but I am still waiting to peak.While some people are sitting around reminiscing about Glory Days like in the Springsteen song, I am busy living my life knowing my Glory Days are still on the way.

As for Cheryl, I am sure her life is just fine. It just suits my theory, and my ego, to think her life was over when the peroxide lost its luster and her roots started to show.

And for the record, I had this theory long before Bruce Springsteen stole my idea for that song!!

Just one question……… will I know when I have peaked????


Ed said...

You'll know when you go home and Cheryl tells you that "you haven't changed a bit."

Liked your post!

Jenn Jilks said...

Educators are lifelong learners! As long as you are learning something, you are good!

I felt, when I quit teaching, went on LTD from bereavement & depression issues, and concentrated on writing my book, that I was a failure and had peaked.

Now, I have come to terms with the change in my life. I have volunteer work with Hospice; a commitment Monday night working with a support group for young girls with bereavement issues. Then two 6-hour days of 'Grief Training' Tu/Wed.

I continue to read, but no more pedagogical theories. Common sense has gone by the wayside. New theories about how we can't put babies in a crib with a sucky toy. (It's driving foster families nuts - I volunteer with CAS, too!)

Cheryl may be happy doing what she is doing. You must respect her - some of us need to do what we do best. Some are afraid of new things.

Good post, Sue, I have wrestled with a sense of failure for 3 years since mom died at home.

Ed has it right! :-)

Anonymous said...

You have peaked by having a great family. You should be happy with that.

Anonymous said...

Coming from a small town, I have seen many Cheryl's and Sean's. I was jealous of them in high school but I knew what would happen to them later. It happens to everyone. They would work at the car plant in town, and drink at the Crabby Joe's on weekends, and they would never meet anyone new and nothing in their lives would ever change. I never ever wanted this. My post-high school life has really just been one big quest to avoid this. And it sure is nice to return home and see old friends who can 'wow' at everything you have accomplished since you left! Haha.

And as for how you know when you peaked, I'll have to agree with Ed! Once the 'wows' stop and you're just old news, I guess that's when haha :D