Friday, December 05, 2008

Teaching Journal
Day 59, Friday, December 5, 2008

This morning, as they always do on Friday, the 9th graders did some free writing while listening to a song (“Walking to Memphis” by Marc Cohn), and, as usual, I was impressed with what they were able to write in only 13 minutes. Some of the lines in their small, spur-of-the-moment fragments were filled with tenderness and beauty. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Sunshine can create loveliness in just a few fleeting moments, so why shouldn’t the 14-year-olds in my class?
I felt very special today in my new blue corduroy pants, and it made me hope that the scholars in my classes sometimes feel special too. There’s no feeling we prize more than the sense that we’re unique, extraordinary, irreplaceable. The feeling comes to most of us only now and again, but when it does, we stretch out and relax in it, as I did today. My step was a little more supple, my back a little straighter because of my blue cords, and I hope the scholars occasionally feel that way. New clothes could do it, but perhaps, for them, a finely-tuned sentence in an essay or a complimentary note from their English teacher could be just as elevating as my swanky new pants were for me.

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