I’ve returned from the Shabbaton I mentioned in my previous entry. I’m very tired — sore muscles from lifting babies and carrying them away from places they weren’t supposed to be. Maggie is heavy. I think they had a good time. In fact, Dylan is, as the kids say, the mack daddy of the under-five set. He got lots of hugs. I swear, one of the 11th graders took him off my hands, and he hugged her tightly round the neck, flashing those dimples the entire time. He sure loves the ladies. Why, one my students even insisted he would be her date for the ’80s dance that evening, but he fell asleep and couldn’t go. Maggie made some friends with the “big boys” and “big girls.” Mainly the girls. Sim even took her on a walk. He said was it was really entertaining. I’ll bet. You know, I thought about it later, and I realized I was the only non-Judaics faculty member there. I suppose you might count the former English teacher (whom I replaced); she is engaged to one of the Judaics teachers. I think the students appreciated it that I made an effort to attend. One of the things I learned from that crazy book my principal last year made us read — Fish! — is that we need to be present for our customers. My principal wanted us to think of ourselves as a business delivering a product to our customers — the students. Being present means so much to students. Just to acknowledge the things they do outside of school. I used to love it, for instance, when teachers came to our band concerts. I need to try to get to more of their sporting events. We don’t really have any other events aside from these Shabbatonim and sporting events.
We stayed in Clayton, the county seat of Rabun County, in far northeastern corner of Georgia. Mountains and forests all around. It was slightly chilly. It was very pretty. All the leaves that were left on the trees were various shades of red, gold, and brown. Camp Ramah Darom is way the hell in the middle of nowhere. I was really worried that I was lost. Then, too, we’re talking about the area of Georgia where Deliverance was filmed, and I’m not joking about that. Strange place to be associated with a Jewish campground, I suppose. On the way home, I stopped at a “scenic overlook” and showed Maggie a piece of Tallulah Gorge. It wasn’t probably the most breathtaking area of the park, but it was pretty. A nearby sign proclaimed the gorge the deepest canyon east of the Mississippi. I didn’t know that. In fact, I don’t think it’s true, because I remember seeing the same thing said about the Little River Canyon in Alabama and the New River Gorge in West Virginia. But it was still pretty.
It feels good to be home. In a little while, I will leave to pick up Sarah, who spent the weekend with her dad. Then I need to get ready for tomorrow. I didn’t get much grading done over the weekend, but I think my students will forgive me for that.