Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Swimming Pool Daydreams

When my youngest son was little, I used to go to water aerobics class to work out in the water. Any excuse to get in a pool; I seriously love to swim.

I didn't know anyone, so I just minded my own business, exercised against the resistance of the water, enjoyed feeling strong and buoyant, sunshine on my hair, the scent of chlorine in the air.

Well, I didn't entirely mind my own business, because I spent a fair amount of time eavesdropping on the conversations of two little old ladies -- and daydreaming about their lives.

They were schoolteachers near retirement who came to the pool to exercise, best friends from way back, and they were always full of stories of places they had just traveled. It seemed like they were always just getting back from somewhere.

Greece. Australia. A cruise through the Caribbean.

I never talked to them. I never even knew their names, but I listened to their stories. I wanted to be like them -- confident, secure, with a best friend by my side, adventures ahead as well as behind me.

It was in that pool that my dream of becoming a teacher was born, not of selfless desire to help people or spread knowledge, but to work nine months a year and travel all summer.


steviewren said...

Exactly the reason I have thought about the same! But I also love history and would love teaching it and trying to prove that it isn't a dull subject.

Thanks for your nice comments on my story. I value hearing them from you.

I keep forgetting to write down the instructions for the hairband and flower for you when I am home...I haven't forgotten.

Indie said...

You'd be a wonderful history teacher. I think it's disgraceful how boring teachers make that subject, but making it about government instead of life and people's stories.

Your story is wonderful. Keep creating, Steviewren. You are so talented that you're fairly bursting with it!

I wish I could write fiction. As soon as grad school is behind me, I hope to access that creative writer. You inspire me and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Anonymous said...

I recently saw the HBO series "John Adams" and I recommend it for people who need an infusion of excitement to add to their existing knowledge of our American Revolution.

Anonymous said...

"not of selfless desire to help people or spread knowledge, but to work nine months a year and travel all summer."

haha! that's a good one

so true

so real


Indie said...

Not to imply that I don't love teaching for all those other reasons too. I do!!

But the first stirrings of my desire to teach came from imagining another kind of life.

Kato said...

Hey, I missed out on something here. I work ten months out of the year and fundraise for two... but I'm in excellent company!

For exciting, real-life people's history you can't do better than Howard Zinn. Our society lost a great teacher when passed recently, but his "anti-textbooks" for young people ought to be in every library across the country.