Denise Darby
2 min readSep 15, 2022

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Go to school symbol. Symbolstix n2y.com

I don’t know how to begin this piece. I am in the midst of another dry spell when it comes to writing something that feels worthy of publishing. Still, I want to connect with my followers and other Medium readers and writers.

The school year has started here in southern Louisiana. I was dreading the beginning of this new year because every classroom I went into last year was consumed with negativity. Teachers were walking out and students were apathetic.

Something feels different.

Entering the teacher's lounge of an elementary school to use the restroom I had a small, courteous conversation with the vice principal:

Me: Hi, how are ya?
VP: Any better and it’d be illegal!
Me: Wow! That’s so refreshing.

After attending to my needs, the disciplinarian was also there when I exited the restroom.

Me: Hey, how are you doing?
Disciplinarian: I can’t get any better!
Me: OK, I don’t know if y’all are just blowing smoke or if you really mean it!
All: Laughter.
Disciplinarian: Oh I mean it! It’s going great.
VP: Now, thats the kind of smoke you want to inhale.

I walked out of that school feeling light and airy. I have experienced this kind of back-and-forth cheerful banter more times in the short beginning of this school year than I had in the entirety of last year.

Instead of, “You want me to do what?” I have heard more, “This is great!” when training special education teachers to use the parish’s chosen curriculum.

Instead of, “I don’t know how they expect me to do all this.” I have heard, “ I’m getting organized. We’ll make it work.”

There was even a beginning of the school year meeting/training for both new and returning teachers. Imagine that! Proactive rhetoric in actual action.

Suffice it to say, I have been busy getting back to the workday routine, attending to two teenagers and their needs, and combating the lack of sleep since I am still not quite adjusted to the 5:00 am wake-up.

I am grateful to have this platform to satisfy that needy feeling of expressing myself. Even if what I have to say isn’t earth-shattering, it feels good to share especially positive news.

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Denise Darby

Mom of two. Poet. Life partner of 28 years. Lover of butterflies and all things alive. Seeker of the truth within and between us.