Most of the time, during a busy week of being available and present as a high school teacher, i find myself appreciating down time of the increasing power of silence as students vacate my room after extra-help, a last ditch point or two before progress reports or just a smiling word of have a good long-weekend. After all of this has dwindled, the echoes in the hallways of past years, past students still seem to filter through the silence. Changes in the visions and realities of education now seem to warp what ‘old-timers’ understand as progress. Content becomes cloaked in “flash” technology or “smartboards” with writing pens that make stars as the student writes across the whiteboard. Dazzled eyes are transfixed on tech savvy while teachers cross their fingers that their students are “getting” the content, as the politicians and corporations seem to promise. I, for one, have my doubts.
But when, at 5pm, i walk out of the building into the parking lot of vastly available spaces and watch the onslaught of other workers released from their 9-5 shifts from nearby offices anxious in their cars following one after the other racing to beat the yellow light, i feel the special impact i have of sharing thoughts, values and caring with tomorrow’s full-fledged citizens. And while my thoughts wander in my pensive solitude, reverberating only with questioning-thinking-wondering, i look up to the heavens for respite, for answers that often never come from administrations, colleagues or those with whom i pass the majority of my time.
Approaching my solitary car that is parked facing west, a spectacular response lies in waiting for the thoughts popping about in my mind. The setting sun hits that hazy zone of atmosphere where clouds uninhibited dance and frame impending dusk, like an angel with wisps of arms and wings uplifting hope and strength illuminated.
So i understand like that inexplicable layer of atmosphere which permits fascinating auroras, lights and formations, so too do our lives unfold and influence what we choose to see every day.