Friday is for throwing out a week of stale chord progressions for a good pair of jeans. It’s for playing with scales and avoiding the usual trappings of key changes.
Fridays are my Kind of Blue.
The sky had just put on a soft robe of periwinkle when I got to school. A slow breeze stirred, and I felt a promising movement in the crisp September air.
Or maybe it was my third shot of espresso.
One shouldn’t underestimate the power of a paper clip.
I sat down at my computer Friday morning to see how much e-mail and coffee I could take in before the first bell rang. I didn’t get through much because the message at the top of my inbox was addressed from a student who graduated two years ago.
She was on my newspaper staff during her senior year. She was an instigator.
“There is no massing of men with God.”
— George MacDonald
After the bell rang, I walked into my classroom to face the first herd of the school year. Two dozen still unidentified bodies had been severed in half. The sand-colored laminate blade of a large tabletop saw had made its fresh, horizontal cut into the chest of each of my students — stopping just short of the heart.
And here they thought they were just sitting down in their desks.
I need to begin with a confession. For the most part, I’ve gone about business as usual, but something dark and dangerous has been festering below the surface.
Our daily interactions matter. As a high school teacher, I get very little personal interaction with adults. I spend most of my time with students, and even most of those encounters last for the time it takes to chew a small bite of sandwich.
I serve as the newspaper advisor at my school. It is a great opportunity to pull students into the realm of words. We live in a society which feeds on images and short bursts of texts and digital characters, so it’s satisfying to expose students to something deeper, more powerful.
This week we’ve been wrapping up our annual double issue, and things were not going very smoothly. Until today. Continue reading
Word by word, time stretches across the nouns and verbs of my day, like a long, linear blue ribbon from the edge of a cursor, tentatively highlighting the scattered, choppy fragments of the day.
Time helps me bind those circumstances into sentences, into something that hopefully matters. Every day I struggle for a word-processed coherence, doing my best to compose meaning and structure as I go. But often there isn’t time to cut. Let alone to paste. Continue reading