I’m going to help teach a high school computer science class this year!
It took me a long time to write that first sentence. More specifically, it took me a long time to finish that first sentence. I struggled to decide if I should end it with an exclamation point to show how excited I am to be part of a new program that’s pairing teachers with industry professionals to co-develop innovative computer science courses in our schools, or if I should use a question mark to accentuate my concerns about the program’s seemingly lax hiring practices, or if I should just end it with a period, like it’s no big deal I’m about to voluntarily start working with teenagers instead of exclusively with machines that won’t freak out even if they’re besieged with acne right before prom.
Since none of those seemed entirely accurate, I turned to the internet to see if anyone’s invented a better sentence terminator since I last checked back in the 80s. Unfortunately, they haven’t. It seems all our top communication experts have mostly been focusing on creating new poop emojis and figuring out how to spell words with numbers instead of vowels.
I was about to give up on this post entirely when my youngest daughter, who will be a senior this year, came into my office and asked what I was doing. Our conversation went like this:
Me: I’m trying to decide how to properly express how I feel about teaching high school this fall.
Her: You’re doing what now?
Me: It’s going to be great. We’ll be able to hang out together more. And carpool!
Me: We won’t be able to eat lunch together, though. At least not every day. The other students will want to take turns hanging out at my table, too.
Her: You’re joking, right?
Her: Dad. No. You can’t possibly think this is a good idea.
Me: You should probably start calling me “Mr. Ard.” For practice.
Her: My life is over.
Me: (lying) Don’t worry. It’s not like I’ve already ordered matching tee-shirts for our first day of school together.
Her: YOU ALREADY ORDERED TEE-SHIRTS?
Me: (still lying) Don’t worry. It’s not like I had both our names printed on them.
Her: (exits the room fervently spewing words that would undoubtedly be spelled with numbers)
That’s when I decided to end that first sentence with one of those special exclamation points they use for road warning signs. With teenagers, it’s always best to proceed with caution.