Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Back To Normal

            “There’s a sub in the math room today who’s using a walker!”

            I stared back at Mr. Abelman and gave him my grown-up response. 

            “Nuh Uh.”

            “Seriously.  Yes.  The sub in the math room today is old.  Really old.  He’s using a walker.”

            Mr. Abelman was not smiling.  He was serious.  As we stood watching the kids pull books out of their lockers and stuff their coats in, I’m pretty sure he was thinking the same thing I was.

            Will I still be working when I’m that age?

            Later that morning during my plan period, I made a point of strolling past the math room.  The sub was old, and he really did have a walker.

            This past weekend I had a quick out of town trip involving airline flights through two large airports.  As I was getting on my first flight, I was surprised to see a gate attendant, who appeared to be about 75 years old, collecting the boarding passes.  Later as I was changing planes in the next airport, the airline cleaning crew began working on the front of the plane as we were still getting off.  I couldn’t help but notice that the plane was being cleaned by a man and woman who both appeared to be over 70 years old.

            At my final destination, it wasn’t a cleaning crew working frantically on the plane as we all got off.  All the flight attendants and either the pilot or co-pilot were making their way through the seats carrying plastic bags, picking up the trash.

            Throughout January I heard on the news about how the real estate market and the economy were all pretty much back on track.  Things were back to normal. Really?

            Did the flight attendants and pilot know their job would include cleaning the plane?

            Did the airline agent and cleaning crew members ever think they’d still be working past 70 years old?

            Did that substitute teacher ever think he’d still have to work even when he got to the point of using a walker?

            We may be back to normal, but I think maybe it’s a new normal. 

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