Thursday, January 10, 2013

Let's Do What We Can Today

Let's do what we can today
as teachers and learners.

We don't have much time today
even though it feels like a drag.

Today we don't all feel great
No juice
Not feeling it
Not on point
So let's do what we can to help each other
and lift each other's spirits.

This is our chance to learn and grow
even if just a little bit.

Let's aim to think a little longer
Think a little deeper
See something a different way
Give that thing a second thought.

Today some of us are tired
So let's do the best we can to support each other.

And let's look for pleasure in all of this.
It's there.
We've got to find it...

Let's challenge each other
Respect each other
Maybe even try to understand each other.

And there will be days
when we're happy and silly
and funny and loving life.

Those are the best days.
But all days are days to learn something.
So let's do the best we can today
as teachers and learners.

Author's note: This poem is about the dog days of teaching and learning. It's easy to learn on a good day. But not so easy on a bad day. Those are the days we especially need each other.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hair In My Food

I’m alone at the deli counter eating my salad.  So close to the window, I’m getting blasted by the sun.  It’s too hot but I refuse to move.  This is Buffalo, there aren’t many days like this.  Looking out to the street I think “What are all these people doing on Hertel Avenue anyway?”  I have no answer for myself so I return to my lunch.  I feel energized by the freshness of the food. 
A thought pops into my head: “It’s as futile as wondering why people are so easily offended.  You’d have to stick a dagger in me to offend me.”  And then an unrelated thought: “Sometimes you just expect an ex-girlfriend to come back to haunt you.”  I’ve never been able to control the thoughts in my head.  When I get back to my salad I notice a hair in my food.  On most days I would throw the salad away, or puke, but on this day I figure a hair won’t hurt me so I eat around it.  It’s time to go so I head for the exit and get in my car. 
I drive by Snowden Mansion on Nottingham Terrace, renowned for its owner’s deviant occupation.  “So this is what a strip club buys you?”  I say out loud, thinking of my little house, and wondering if working a conventional job is overrated.  I quickly decide that it is. 
I drive toward the highway nearly blinded by the sun but manage a glimpse of a super huge cloud with a plane flying through it.  I wonder if this is the world coming to an end.  I also wonder if my tire is about to explode and if I will crash before I reach the highway.  Just more thoughts in my head.
I make it to work in one piece but the energy from my lunch has already worn off.  If life could be Tuesday morning all the time I’d be fine but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.  By the time I get to Wednesday I’m out of steam.  Now I remember why I wrote a play called “Phlegmatic Fever.” 
I walk into my office thinking about freedom.  I believe that freedom is walking your dog in the morning sunshine with no job to go to afterward.  I don’t have a dog but I do have a job that I have to go to most days.  I do have a few hours tomorrow morning before I have to be anywhere.  I guess that’s the closest I can get to freedom.


Author's note: I wrote this a long time ago.