I was informed that I would have to return to my old high school where it had been discovered that I was allowed to graduate having been short 1.3 credits.
I moved back to Chicago and rented our old apartment on the corner of Rosemont and Mozart.
It was the morning of my first day of school and I was getting dressed and couldn't decide between two long sleeve t-shirts—a black one and a tan-colored one—so I wore them both, the tan one on top of the black one. I thought to myself I could take one off if I got too warm.
I arrived at school and met with the principal, a middle-aged woman who made some snide remarks about my reputation as having been an under-achieving student while at the same coming back years later to be one of the best teachers the school ever had.
The principal advised me that to avoid any awkward situations or possible humiliation, I would be attending the math classes I needed to earn my missing credits under the guise of being a student teacher.
I went to the teacher's lounge to put my things in a locker when a young Asian man walked in and introduced himself as the new substitute math teacher.
He asked if I had any advice for him and I told him I was a student teacher but I had heard that the last week of the school year was brutal.
I was trying to find my classroom as the tardy bell had already rung, but couldn't remember where the math classes were.
I finally arrived and apologized for being late and the teacher introduced me as a student teacher who would be with the class for the final week of the school year.
The teacher mentioned that I was an English teacher but needed to observe a math class as part of my teacher training, so she told her students to keep an eye out in case I needed any help with the assignments.
As the students were already busy working, the teacher handed me a few worksheets and told be I could join one of the groups.
I sat down at a table where a couple of girls were working on what looked to be the same worksheets as I had just been given.
I looked at the math problems and, noticing a perplexed look on my face, one of the girls said she'd be glad to help me and that she understood my dilemma as she mentioned, having just arrived in America a few years before, English was one of her poorest subjects.
Then I woke up.