Friday, September 05, 2008

The Week that Was

I am thanking God it's Friday. (And here's today's Poetry Friday roundup, by the way). This week was a rough one, for several reasons.

One reason is that I'm a weenie, and I hate gloomy weather. I am spoiled here - we usually have perfect weather (if somewhat warm for some people's tastes). None of this gentle sweep of the seasons stuff - we have blue skies and lovely warm temperatures all year round, and we love it! Or at least, I do. This week was windy, dark, and rainy - oh my goodness, rainy. It rained almost all the time.

The second reason is linked to the first - this bad weather caused horrible damage in this country - not to my house, but to the houses of thousands of others. It killed people, displaced people, ruined people's lives. It was a week of grief, and that grief continues.

The third reason is that I was sick all week, and I lost my voice. A voice is rather important for a teacher. I realized once again that my voice is my main tool of the trade. I use it all day long, to explain and encourage and cajole and instruct and correct and, well, teach. I try not to raise it too often, but I take roll, read aloud, ask and answer questions, maintain order in the hallways, give directions, conference with kids, pray (it's a Christian school, don't call the ACLU). I was constantly reminded every day this week how important my voice is to the work I do. I would force it all morning with my middle schoolers and then be basically mute by the afternoon and give my high schoolers something to do that wouldn't require me to talk.

Today the sky was blue and gorgeous again, and the sun was out. That cheered me up immensely. And I was starting to feel physically normal again, too. One of my lessons today went so well that I wanted to jump up and down. I wished I had been being observed by an administrator. It was that good. One of those moments when you say, yes, I'm fabulous, this is why I'm a teacher!

At the same time, though, I can't stop thinking about the citizens of this country who have lost everything this week. I met some this afternoon, kids who were asleep in their orphanage when the waters started to rise. They escaped with their lives and their pyjamas and nothing else.

And that was my week. I'm hoping and praying for an uneventful weekend with clear skies.

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