I love the scene in Erin Brockovich when her neighbor asks for her number and she says, “Which number do you want?” Then she proceeds to give him the ages of her children, the number of times she’s been married, and the amount of money in her bank account before sharing her phone number. It’s a great movie moment because Julie Roberts delivers her lines so well, but it’s also a great reminder that people cannot be summed up with just one name, label, or number.
Here’s a clip of the scene. Be forewarned, Ms. Brockovich has a bit of a potty mouth:
I’ve been thinking about my own numbers this week.
Tuesday was my last day of work for the 2018-2019 school year, and my school had our annual end-of-year breakfast to celebrate the year’s achievements, say goodbye to staff members who are moving on to new adventures, and welcome new teachers to the campus.
During the meeting, our principal handed out pins to teachers who have been in the district 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years. (Yes, when you have taught in the same school district for THIRTY YEARS, you get a PIN. Welcome to public education.) I didn’t get a pin because my years of service don’t add up to a multiple of five, but it got me thinking about my numbers anyway.
- 16 is the number of years I’ve been teaching 7th grade.
- 2 is how many districts I’ve taught in and 3 is the number of schools.
- 4 is how many years I took off from teaching to recoup, relax, and recharge.
- 58 is how many times I’ve read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.
- 1,200 is roughly the number of students I’ve taught during my career.
- 1 is the number of times a student has thrown up in my classroom (and thankfully, it was in the trash can).
Those numbers might not be pin-worthy, but I think they’re pretty impressive.
Of course, those aren’t my only numbers.
Today is my wedding anniversary.
- 9 is the number of years I’ve been married.
- 13 is the number of years I’ve been in love with my husband.
- 0 is the number of children we have (by choice).
- 3 is the number of pets we have (sort of by choice… if it were up to only me, we’d probably have about 7).
- Uno is the name of our dog.
- 18 is the age of the cat we just adopted.
- 0 is the number of times we have adhered to the rules about traditional anniversary gifts.
- 100,000 is roughly the number of times my husband has made me laugh.
But there are still more numbers. For instance…
- 42 is my age.
- 3 is how many cups of coffee I’ve had today.
- 21 is how many books I’ve read this year.
- 7 is the number of novels I’ve started writing.
- 1 is how many I’ve finished.
- 74 is the number of summer vacation days looming before me that I hope to fill with coffee, books, stories, laughs, pets, and adventures with the hubby before it’s time to go back to…
- 9+ hour work days…
- 150 new students…
- and roughly 10,000 papers to grade.
I’ll take those numbers. Most days, they make me feel like I’ve won the lottery.
So, what’s YOUR number?