Tuesday, January 18, 2011


"After the Ice Storm", oil, by Elizabeth Fraser
Today in northeast Connecticut we had snow, then icy rain, then sleet, then a steady, slanting rain, and now simply a somber sky and seemingly universal ice, and, sitting at home watching the varying weather, I thought often of my work as an English teacher. I find it strange that I can easily accept the shifting circumstances the weather sends me, but have a devil of a time taking in stride the ever-altering state of affairs in English class. Today, as the conditions changed outside, I didn’t fret or find reasons for dismay or dread, but simply sat down with my iMac and iPad and prepared myself for some pleasant hours ahead. I guess I knew that no dramatics on my part would do much to change sleet to sunshine, so why not sit back and bring some buoyant thoughts to the situation? I’m certainly not suggesting that I should sit back in my classroom and let storms of silly behavior bring chaos to my lesson plans. Far from it -- but as I’m making my best efforts to teach topics of importance in a professional manner to suitably behaved students, I can also remember that weather patterns will inescapably shift, both outside on an unsettled day and in a 9th grade classroom. As I’m working with the students in a well-managed and composed way, I can still feel, inside, perfectly open to whatever surprising and beneficial conditions might come our way.

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