Picking Up Speed, III

Some more disjointed thoughts after an extremely busy Tuesday – a day when I left the house at 6:30-ish in the morning and was home around 8 in the evening:

  • It was a really hard day for many of my students.  They were distracted and grumpy and out of sorts and unfocused … and I think it was because the adults in their lives had been distracted, grumpy, and unfocused.  Tuesday, September 11, was hard because of “the” Tuesday, September 11.  It wasn’t all that hard for my students, the oldest of whom were in first grade and the youngest of whom were 3 on “the” Tuesday, September 11.  But it was hard for their teachers and their parents … and possibly harder for their teachers because this is the first time since The Day that an overwhelming majority of our students didn’t  have an active memory of where they were at 8:46 a.m.  Things went well in my first class of the day (we stopped a bit early because I knew there’d be a commemoration at The Time), but everybody else was grumpy and distracted.  And I bet it’s because Ms. X (or somebody) fussed at them for not remembering … what they couldn’t possibly remember.
  • With that said, the school day had some moments of real promise.  My Latin I students are slowly falling in love with the Tres Columnae Project storyline and coming to appreciate its emotional depth.  And my Latin III’s are seeing depth they hadn’t seen before and coming to appreciate how Roman values might be influencing the thoughts and actions of their favorite characters.
  • I had been dreading my “train the trainers” meeting this afternoon, but it went really well, if a bit long.  I had hoped to get my hair cut in the time between that and a potluck dinner, but the meeting ran just long enough that my hair had to wait for another day.
  • The potluck was a good time – I really love spending time with friends, even though I also need my alone time and my “just family” time.  And I had a wonderful conversation with a friend who may yet be a catalyst and organizer for the community that will build … what I’ll be talking about whenever I can finally write my “Idea” post on my EdStartup 101 blog.
  • And I came home to a very happy, very relieved dog and cat, one of whom (I’ll let you guess) was licking the leather sofa cushion next to me as I drafted this post.  On days when I’m exhausted or overwhelmed, I often take comfort from watching the ways my favorite animals interact with each other and the world.  For both of them, but especially for Jasper the Wonder Dog, there’s no such thing as a “typical” day.  Every meal is delicious; every walk is an exciting new adventure; every squirrel on the lawn is worthy of full attention; every itch must be zestfully scratched.

On our busiest days, and on days when it all seems like an endless grind, we could all take a lesson from Jasper the Wonder Dog.  Enjoy that meal even if somebody else would say it’s the same old food you eat every day.  Sniff those bushes as if you’d never sniffed them before, chase away your (literal or metaphorical) annoying squirrels, and if you have to scratch an itch, you might as well enjoy it.

What other lessons can we learn from closely observing things that seem to be so ordinary?  And what lessons might we miss if we pick up too much speed?

quid respondētis, amīcī?

Published in: on September 12, 2012 at 9:46 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] the speedy semester-block schedule of my face-to-face teaching world, Wednesday was the midpoint of our first 4-1/2-week reporting period – a day when students receive progress […]

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