I’m sitting in the airport terminal for my return flight home. I landed at this same place only eight hours ago, a fly-in fly-out same-day gig to work with some teachers. In spite of the fact that the destination is in the same state as my own residence, the flight costs about the same as the travel costs for driving, and takes less than half the time. I walk onto a regional jet, spend about 45 minutes in the air each way, and land in a place that would have taken me over 5 hours to drive to. Even with details like getting to the airport, checking in, and waiting around, it’s still a much better use of time and effort.
Still, it’s a bit comical to me to be the kind of person who flies on a plane to commute to a job. This is what important, or over-important, people with business suits and briefcases do. I walk on in shorts and a messenger bag slung over my shoulder; and I am carrying tuning forks to be united with the buckets and PVC pipe I have sent ahead to my destination. Once I’ve landed, I get the keys to a car and find my way to a suburban elementary school, rather than a high powered business meeting.
It’s comical, yes, but the more I’ve thought about it the more I like the notion that the attention paid to working with teachers here — the job I’ve jet-commuted to do — should be the very thing we deem as important. Tomorrow in my hometown, teachers will gather at a local park to demonstrate and advocate for themselves in the face of a non-negotiated, take-it-or-leave-it contract that threatens their respect, professionalism, and employment. So, it’s nice to know that once in a while we can find and fund a program that gives teachers the priority they deserve. I hope that tuning forks and buckets were helpful. And, I don’t mind that I get to pretend to be a jet-setter. (And, I especially don’t mind that I get to be home in time to see my family before they’ve even thought about going to bed.)