Book of School

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Author’s Note

By the summer of 2014 I’d had enough of cab driving.  I was caught in this lifestyle of not sleeping, drinking a lot, and working an increasingly unfulfilling job in which I barely made enough to keep up. I’d been battling depression on and off for the previous few years and knew I hadta finally do something…


By Tino Gomez

Yes, it is true. I hired Jonathan; I take responsibility for that. Also, I was Chair of the English & Communication department. I’m not bragging; it’s just that some people, —Blank—, (No names here.) might not believe I had made it this far. I won’t get into “why” some wouldn’t believe as those stories no longer matter. I’m not the same person I was then because simply put, the experience of teaching changes things. There’s no way of escaping it…

“Teaching & Shit”

I hadta get rid of my teaching nerves before class so I went to the faculty bathroom.

When I was a student I pretty much never went to the bathrooms at school. Only bad kids went in there, and they might be outside the stall and go, “I can smell your nerves coming out, Nervy!”…

“Break Room Dishes”

My soul rose above my body and looked down…

It saw me washing dishes in the faculty break room for the first time ever. I’d brought leftover General Tso’s Chicken from home and microwaved it in a blue ceramic bowl I’d found in the break room cabinet…

“It Was the Kinda Day Nobody Knew My Stuffed Animal Was Really Alive”

I’d started bringing my old childhood teddy bear with me to school cuz I always felt so alone teaching the class. It was just me up there versus a whole bunch of them, and I needed a loving ally to even the odds. As I taught them lessons on thesis statements and topic sentences and transitional phrases, I’d look over at the bear, and he would be alive, breathing and blinking…

“Professor Kerouac”

Professor Kerouac stood in front of the class, but no one was starstruck, no one pointed with excitement, and no one said, “oh my god, a historical literary figure is teaching us!” Because no one knew who he was…

“Been Drawing Lotsa Palm Trees Lately”

Maybe cuz they’re so hard to find teaching in Colorado, and I at least want to see one even if it’s just a small, two-dimensional pencil scribble on the corner of a piece of notebook paper.

“Don’t Say The Name!”

So far this semester I’ve hadta play this game called “Don’t Say the Name.” Every day in my English class I feel the temptation to say it, but it can only lead to bad things, so I hafta resist.


 The little boy came into the Writing Center with his mom. She was there for help on a college application essay, which was supposta help improve both their lives.

While I was advising her on things like purpose and organization and grammar, he squirmed in his seat and made noises.


I recently applied for a full time position teaching college English. It got me thinking again about BookMess...
of my books
lying in total disorganization on the floor 
while perfectly alright empty shelves look on

“The Adjunctsigh”

I overheard a history teacher conferencing with a student in the adjunct office, the communal space where all the college’s adjunct instructors get work done because they don’t have their own private offices.

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