Ever since Rosie Pro got vandalized in Antioch, I've decided that living too close to my job can have its drawbacks. When I moved to Stockton, I deliberately moved into an apartment in the northern end of town. One big reason is that it is the safer part of Stockton. The other reason is because I teach in the southern end of town.
I don't like to give away too much about myself to my kids. They know my first name, and that I'll ignore them if they try to address me as "Megan." They know that I have two cats, a brother named Aaron, and that I am 31 years old.
And that's about it. I usually smile and give them cryptic answers or a simple-but-gentle, "None of your business!" when they ask about my love life, and especially, where I live. My answer for that one is usually, "Oh, I live in Stockton."
"Where in Stockon?"
"North of here."
Most kids get bored with the conversation by this point.
Yesterday, I had a load of packages to take to the post office (eBay sales) and as I left, I was cursing under my breath as I walked to the car, juggling boxes, envelopes and my purse while trying to unlock my car. Suddenly, from behind, I heard, "Miss Cooper...is that you?"
I stopped. I cringed. Then I plastered a smile on my face and turned around to see a former student, who recently left one of my schools. Turns out he moved to my end of the city, and now lives upstairs and across from me.
I'm sure the horror must have been on my face. There was a little bit of horror on his face, too, as I said, "Hi, Bradley! Wow, you moved...here?"
At least he doesn't go to either one of my schools anymore--this is a good thing. I really couldn't handle seeing him every other day in my classroom while wondering if he saw me taking out the trash in my pajamas or saying goodnight to a date at the front door--at 5:00 in the morning. There are just some parts of me that are not open to my kids.
Fortunately, he's a nice kid--he was one of my really well-behaved kids and I know he won't egg my place or call everyone at his old school and have them over for a slumber-slash-harrass-the-teacher party.
Now, if he and his sibling would just be quieter on those stairs, and stay the hell off my lawn...