They say their names, and I smile. I shake hands. I forget to use all of those mnemonic devices that you're supposed to use when you meet new people, and I find instead that my brain is completely blank and terrified. It's been five seconds since I heard your name, and I not only can't repeat it, I can't even remember my own name.
Lots of pats on the back for getting the job at my new school. Lots of "heard great things about you". Lots of offers to help. Help with what? I haven't had time alone in my room to think about what I need. The few things I have asked about (money for math team, scope and sequence of my courses, attendance policy) seem to be decisions I get to make all by myself. I'm lost. I'm used to standing rigid against a wall in a building too dependent upon structure to see the students, and now I find myself with no wall and no structure, and I'm not even sure I know how to stand without it.
Excuse me. I can't remember your name, but I kind of sort of want you to give me some structure so I can rebel against it, especially since I suspect the structure will become apparent only when I violate it. Why don't you just save us some time and tell me what it is, so I can decide how to violate it?