This was set beside my cup of coffee and plate of cake when I trudged upstairs last week upon arriving home. Sitting lumpishly on my stool, I leaned my elbows on the counter’s edge and picked it up. “What’s this?” I asked me mum. “A postcard,” she said patiently. “It was in the mail today.”

I scrutinized the picture on the front, baffled at first but increasingly delighted. Flipping it over, I saw that it was from a good friend in CA, and suddenly it made sense. With her permission, I quote the message from the back:

Study this picture. Studying? Study again. That is what I imagine teaching is like. Is my mental picture accurate?

To which I can respond with all sincerity, yes. Children are indeed prone to vomiting, jerking their arms before then in a poorly articulated, robotic manner. They fall back, heads loose, unconscious, and spend hours gazing out of imaginary windows watching Japanese death gods float by.

While I, of course, excise hearts at the front of the class.