Man, I feel young here.
It’s unnerving how perceptions can flip so rapidly. This time last year, I felt like I’d completely outgrown Whitman. I knew the town, I knew the nooks and crannies of campus, I had my friend group which consisted mostly of graduates. I was pretty bored of Whitman.
And now, here, I’m the youngest teacher at school. I keep getting comments from the other staff about how “naive” I am, and how I’ll “understand x when I get older.” Try me. The other teachers also smoke and drink heavily while frequently commenting on the fact that I don’t smoke and I only drink moderately. My habits apparently back up this naivete I somehow display. When did drinking and smoking equal maturity?
My group of friends here consists of teachers in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties. And I’m 22. But until now, 22 didn’t seem so, SO young. The others look more to me like a little sister to take under their wing than a friend with whom to have a conversation. I get a lot of “are you okay?” and “are you sure you’re okay?” While it’s quite nice to know that people care, I’m not incapable. I’m not fragile. And I’m not naive.
Well, sure, I’m naive about a lot of things. But I have a hell of a lot more experience and knowledge than these people are giving me credit for.