Thursday, February 7, 2013


One of my favorite types of days in my classroom is a type that is hard to explain. I adore the days when the weather outside my windows is awful. One would think that this makes the kids ping-pong-y, but it doesn't. Not really. After the requisite 10 minutes of chatter about the weather, the switch flips. We settle into my narrow basement den covered, literally, in words, and we take a little break from the routine. We read what we feel. We write in our journals. We talk <> about what we are reading and writing. 

I'm not sure if it is because as a teacher, I'm not racing home to my lovehousekittensworkoutsnackserrands, but rather dreading the sure to be lengthy commute home. Maybe in the midst of procrastinating a commute, I can take a step back and really see the thoughtful, painful growingish kiddos I'm surrounded with. Maybe we are all just a bit more mindful of being warm and dry. Maybe we are all just in plain better moods because of the prospect of a snow day, so we appreciate each other more. I'm not sure what it is, but it happens without fail every time the lacy cornflake snow starts whispering down. 

I had a full on chat with a student today about music. What she likes. Pandora. What I like. Whether I sing in the car (duh). At the end of it, I was left thinking about the lovely person I've seen this student become. What lovely people are hiding under all of their stinky, hormone infested selves. What a lovely person they push me to try to be. And then I had a chat with a friend, came home, and wondered.

People from the Midwest wonder constantly: would we appreciate the winter if we had summer all the time? We Midwesterners staunchly insist that the winter makes us more appreciative, less likely to squander the sunshine. And yet, I don't think that's quite it. Rather, I think that winter offers us more chances to be better. It subtly refocuses us by re-arranging the timelines we get things done in. It tsks us via shrinking waistbands that we need to eat more vegetables before bathing suit season. We rest. We drink wine and eat rich foods. We cuddle. We read. We think deep thoughts and hibernate. We get ready to reinvent ourselves in the summer as people who go to funky neighborhoods and fests and wear sundresses and aviators and cowboy boots and glitter all at once. 

Winter pushes my buttons, but it also pushes me forward. 

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