Mario Villalobos


  • Journal

Sat down to take a breath in my office and wondered how much time I had left before school started. I looked at my calendar and realized it was still on July. I flipped it over to August and noticed the “Welcome Back!” message, and all I felt was dread. “All the teachers are coming back,” a coworker told me. “Yeah,” I said. “I think I miss the kids more than I do the teachers.” She laughed and said, “Me too. The teachers are just so needy.”

I’ve spent the last week taking down one computer lab and refreshing another. My fingers are sore from plugging and unplugging cables, and I’m tired from lugging desktops and monitors from one building to another. There’s a certain sense of accomplishment, though, when everything is ready and I push the On button on two dozen desktops and see them all spark with life. I’ve been at this job for six years, and I continue to feel joy when the machines I’m in charge of hum happily in the background. I can’t wait to see the kids use them.

Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris as his running mate last night, and I felt the same vibe when Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination twelve years ago. Four years ago, many of my coworkers and friends in Montana voted for Donald Trump to be president, a stark contrast from twelve years ago when my coworkers and friends voted for Barack Obama in California. All the pollsters and pundits predicted a Hillary Clinton win in 2016, and all the pollsters and pundits predict a Joe Biden win this November. I don’t know if I trust anything they say, but in my characteristically contradictory nature, I subscribed to the New York Times last night for the first time in my life. Other than unlimited access to their reporting, I wanted access to their crossword and their vegan recipes. Like with anything else, I’ll see how it goes.