January 26, 2016

Feeling of Awe

I recently started following Scott Kelly on Twitter- @StationCDRKelly He is an astronaut living and working on the space station. I say space station as if I know anything about it, and as if there is only one station. There is only one right? Do we have more than one space station?

I did some quick research, yes- it seems that there is only one space station which is actually called The International Space Station or ISS. Which is confusing with ISIS right? Can you imagine those guys up in space? I think that might cool their jets a bit. Get them up in space for a year and let them re-evaluate their relationship to god and all that, but that is a different story.

I was talking about Scott Kelly. Anyway, this dude has been up in space since last March and is scheduled to stay for a year. He frequently tweets photos of earth from space, and they are stunning.

He got me thinking about what a trip it must be for him. I can barely imagine the daily revelations and the deeper understanding he must have of our planet seeing it whole and living and breathing in the vastness of the space that surrounds it.

Is it even possible for us to grasp that feeling of awe while we are living on it? I joked earlier about literally sending ISIS up there, but seriously I think it is important for us to look at all the issues we face as a species on our very precarious and precious planet, both in the micro and macro sense. We can do this if we mentally send ourselves to space once in a while.

Because when I see his photos of the Italian peninsula at night, shrouded in a cloud formation that covers nearly the entire country, and I think that those weather patterns are  part of one giant global system, it makes me put into perceptive the work that we do and the thoughts that we think and the dreams that we dream. It forces me to realise the true insignificance of my being, but at the same time I am forced to contemplate how our collective consumption is damaging such a beautiful and finite planet. In short, it makes me think.

If you are on Twitter check him out. His photos and messages about space are a nice way to pullout super macro and put your day into perspective.

Today after lunch & before class, a few 7th grade kids trickled in early. I was on the couch playing guitar and as came in; we all started to chat while I strummed a few chords. They were so calm and approachable. We joked about a mock wedding they were planning between the two of them. A bit later,  another boy came in and started to juggle. We watched him and chatted and played guitar. Then I got up to juggle. I made a few jokes. They laughed.

I don’t ever remember moments like this in school. Ever. Afterwards, we all composed ourselves sat down on the carpet and began to learn about the Art of Argument Writing. They were into it and ready to go. All it took was a few minutes of being a human being around them. The vibe was great and the energy flowing. I love what I do.

For those of you who have known me for a while, you know that I will ignore something for a long time, pretend like I don’t care about it, then after I try it, I become super obsessed and treat people like idiots because they are not super excited about it too.

Spotify and streaming music has changed my musical life. OMG. Finally. What was I thinking?

This week I discovered the Monday Mix. A playlist of songs based on my listening habits. It is familiar and new. Eclectic and popular. It spans forty years and it is awesome. I discovered a few new bands and was reminded of a few songs that I loved long ago. I also heard the original Jackson Brown version of one of my favourite songs- These Days.

I am now listening to music at breakfast, in the shower, on the way to school, and most nights while I work. It is fantastic.

However, everyone told me how social Spotify is, but I am not really interacting with anyone. I have sent a few people messages or songs and links to playlist, but it feels a bit dead.  If you are on Spotify, come find me and let’s play. I am loving it.

Lessons Learned:

  • Our planet is huge and tiny at the same time. Take a moment to contemplate it every once in a while. 
  • Kids need you to be yourself around them and make jokes for them to trust you. That’s when they learn best. 
  • Don’t wait too long to try things that people you trust tell you are good. 

  1. What trips you out about nature, the planet and space? 
  2. Describe a memorable simple moment you have spent with students. 
  3. What’s a popular thing you waited too long to explore? 
  4. Is there something else I am missing out on, that I will be obsessed with, once I try it? 

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