Sunday, February 17, 2008


P is for Pendulum Clock

The first sound I heard when I awoke this morning was the ticking of my pendulum wall clock, and, as usual, it brought a wonderful reassurance. No matter what happens in my seemingly serendipitous life, the pendulum keeps swinging and the clock keeps ticking. When my life seems to be rushing forward at a scary speed, the pendulum swings at the same steady pace. Likewise, when my hopes and dreams seem to have crashed to a standstill, the pendulum still serenely ticks at its accustomed tempo. Sometimes I simply stand in front of the clock and admire its calmness and dependability. Even if the electricity goes out in a storm, the pendulum (which is wound by a key) will remain composed and steadfast .... tick, tick, tick, tick. If it could talk, it would say, “Relax, Ham. Never rush, never dawdle. Just keep ticking.” I have the usual ups and downs of any classroom teacher, and I should learn a lesson from my wall clock. When a parent sings my praises, just keep ticking; when a parent rails against me, just keep ticking. When a lesson soars on wings, keep ticking at the same tempo; when a lesson falls and dies, just keep ticking. Perhaps my students might say, “Mr. Salsich is just like a clock. Nothing disturbs him.”

I can’t think of a better compliment for a teacher.

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