I met it on day one of Institute, when I was as eager as I’d ever be to tackle the achievement gap, even though I had no idea how I might do so.
It stood by my side, always loyal, even during the hardest of times, times when I felt like giving up (there were many), when both body and soul felt depleted, at levels below zero, if you can even imagine that.
It nourished me, proffering fluorescent elixirs (known as “Gatorade”); ham-and-cheese sandwiches, always with fresh ingredients; baked treats, courtesy of the oven-wise roommates; and, always, the mystery snack–Oreos, jelly beans, maybe Pringles–that would pleasantly surprise me.
But today my TFA lunchbox–outside seams torn apart, insulation spilling out, stains glowing brightly, zipper dislodged–has passed into another world, the dumpster.
If ever I had to name an object that contributed most to my well-being these past two years, my lunchbox would be it. It was, in many ways, my guardian, symbolizing the relentless work that had to be done each day in the classroom, work that required loads of mental energy, but just as much physical energy too.
So I wanted to take the time to recognize my lunchbox.
May you rest in peace.