My Second Tuesday

It is always nice to know that someone is thinking about you on a special day. This post is about the importance of kindness and of thoughtful gestures.

Happy Anniversary to me! It’s my Second Tuesday. That makes today very special and noteworthy. For it was exactly one year ago today, after an absence of several years, that I re-started my blog. I re-started my blog on my First Tuesday. My First Tuesday was the first day of my retirement from teaching. It was, also, the first day of a new school year for my wife and two daughters which meant, for me, that it was the first time I was truly alone with my thoughts. I wrote my first post that day. It was called “The Brightness of the Light” and can be read here. That post talked about the joy I was feeling at being free to chart my own course in life. No more bells to answer to. No more bosses telling me what to do or when to do it. I could go where I wanted, when I wanted. I was free.

So, what did I decide to do on this, my Second Tuesday, you ask? Well, I am not sure if you will be surprised at my decision or not but, after dropping my youngest daughter off at her school for her first day of the new school year, I hopped in my car and drove………straight back to my old school!

I didn’t go there because I was having pangs of regret or longing for the teaching career that I had left behind. I went back to my old school to repay a debt of kindness. Let me explain. Tuesday, September 5, 2017 was my Final Tuesday. It was the last “First Day” of school for me as a teacher. When I arrived at school that day and entered my classroom, I was greeted by the sight of a jar of jellybeans on my desk. There was a note that accompanied the jar. The note said that there were 190 jellybeans in that jar; one for each day of my final school year. As each day passed, I was to remove one jellybean. As the school year progressed, the jar became emptier and emptier until, on the last day of school in June, 2018, I ate the final jellybean. The jar was now empty. My teaching career was now over. It was time to leave. The last thing I did on that final day in June was to take my name plate off of my classroom door. I put that name plate into the empty jellybean jar, walked out of the school, got in my car and drove away to a whole new life.

Before my final year of teaching began, I had suspected that there would be special and/or emotional moments along the way. When I saw that jellybean jar on the first day of school, I knew I was right. The funny thing about it was that the gesture was completely unexpected. The lady who gave me the jar of jellybeans is named Annette. While we had worked together for several years, I am sure we would both describe our relationship as being more acquaintances than dear friends. But yet, it was Annette and her act of kindness that started my final year off on such a wonderful note. And that, in and of itself, was an important lesson for me that year because it showed that my world was actually broader and deeper than I had imagined it to be. So many people did and said so many amazing things over the course of that year. I was truly and sincerely touched by it all. I will always remember my final year of teaching and those who were a part of it. And, it all started off with a jar of jellybeans upon my desk.

Well, as it turns out, this is Annette’s Final Tuesday. So today, I brought her a jar of 190 jellybeans. As I placed the jar on her desk, she asked me if I still found retirement to be fulfilling. I told her that I did. But then, I reminded her that she should treasure each jellybean and not wish her year away because being a teacher is as noble and special and important a role as any of us who have done it will ever play. I told her she was lucky to be doing what she was doing. Hopefully, today will be the start of a wonderful year in her life. Come next September, if Annette wants to share her First Tuesday with me, having coffee and ringing a bell downtown, I am up for that. But that will be her choice because, by then, she, too, will be free.

I got to see some of my former students before leaving the school. That was nice. Warm hugs and high fives were always the hallmarks of the best part of being a teacher; the relationships you form with the kids. But now, on my Second Tuesday, I got to experience the best of all worlds. I got to have the hugs and high fives and then, I got to drive away. No opening day speeches. No messes to clean up. No wondering where my summer vacation went an hour into the day. The sun is shining where I am. It is quiet and peaceful enough that I can hear the sound of the wind gently rustling the leaves of the tree in my backyard. I remain relaxed and at ease. It is my Second Tuesday and I am free.

Author: Tom MacInnes

Among the many characters I play: husband, father, son, retired elementary school teacher, writer, Cape Bretoner, lover of hot tea and, above all else, a gentleman. I strive to make a positive difference in the lives of others. In Life, I have chosen to be kind.

11 thoughts on “My Second Tuesday”

    1. Thirty years of teaching gone in the blink of an eye. Now that everyone is back at school, I hope to post more regularly. I don’t know about you but, I cannot write in a house filled with the energy of youth. It is quiet today but, truth be told, I will be happy to have them all home so I can hear about their days.

    1. Thank you. I have to admit that it is a tad too quiet right now but, I am sure I will grow accustomed to the peace and quiet as the days roll by and the routines kick in. Tough problem to have. 😀

  1. Hi Tom…. sorry to interrupt your quiet time, but, I had to share my thoughts with you as it is my 16th–1st Day of School Day. Many things have happened over these years, but, I still miss the hype and excitement of this day in the classroom. I have been trying to overcome this feeling for years by joining my Red Hat Ladies in a get-to-gather and a sharing of memories of our school days and pondering where have all these years gone. Good friends, great memories and a fresh cup of coffee does wonders for me on this day.

    1. It was too quiet at home, to be honest. During my career, I always liked the first day, too. I found it was usually one of the easiest days to get through. It had a momentum of its own. 😀

  2. Love the jelly bean jar idea! I may borrow that idea for future retirees. As this is my second Tuesday as well I must admit I miss the excitement of the first day. I’m still working on what my freedom will look like. Love reading your blog and look forward to more now that you are back to peace and quiet and your own freedom!

    1. I can’t take credit for the jellybean idea but, I agree, it is very suitable for this situation. As for my freedom, I wonder if it will be similar this year to last or will new and different things pop up that capture my attention. Time will tell. I guess it is as they say, the journey that is important. 😀

  3. Lovely post, Tom. Just wondering if you’ve had back to school dreams? I still have them and it’s my 12th years of retirement. If you ever need something to do Ten Thousand Villages is always looking for volunteers.

    1. I don’t dream about the kids as often as I used to. When I was still teaching, I dreamed about the kids all of the time. In fact, I rarely ever dreamed about my own two daughters! But, my students……all of the time. As for TTV…..retail is just not my thing. Even as a teenager working summer jobs, I never took to retail. But, thanks for thinking it might be a fit.😀❤️

Leave a Reply to gcwkjkhyahoocaCancel reply

%d bloggers like this: