Friday, January 11, 2008


Day 77, Friday, January 11, 2008

This morning most of the 9th graders looked like they were on the verge of slumber during class. They were deader than I think I've seen them all year. I couldn't squeeze a comment out of them about anything. My words seemed to bounce off them like stones off mountains. For a few moments after the classes, this was a big deal to me … or rather I made it a big deal: "Oh my god, I'm such a lousy teacher. My teaching is boring. The kids hate my classes" and on and on. I'm an expert at turning things into big deals, and I did a masterful job of it this morning. However, I caught myself pretty quickly. I simply reminded myself of an old truth I love: that nothing is really a big deal -- not in the "big picture", anyway. In the infinite universe, a zillion events are occurring each moment, and none of them is a tad more important than any other. They are all big deals, which I guess means they are all very small deals. My students being sleepy during English class today was no more significant than leaves flying away from an old tree in China or birds steering their way through skies above Arizona.Of course, their behavior was also no less significant than any other event. The universe is a single harmonious entity, in which every occurrence is as essential as every other, but no more so. What happened with my 9th grade students was as unpredictable and uncontrollable as what happens with the weather. It wasn't a big deal, just another deal among the zillions the universe unfolds for us each day. Tomorrow the weather and my students will surely behave in yet another different and special way.

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