March 16, 2016

Cultivate Joy

I’m staring at this blank white screen, ignoring most of my random thoughts, trying to make one stick, while listening to an album of Elliott Smith covers by Seth Avett and Jessica Lee Mayfield. My eyes burn a touch and my shoulders ache. I managed to get some work done tonight but the 10km run home from school has me feeling lethargic again.

I am unhealthy obsessed with this election, but I don’t know why- I don’t even live in America. What the hell do I care? But I have been reading articles, and Facebook updates, and Tweets and watching videos and analysis and it all seems too insane to handle.

Apparently Anonymous is going to “destroy” Trump, but I’m not holding my breath. They seem to make a lot of vows, but I haven’t seen to many take-downs.

This is all I got for politics tonight:

Can’t Trump how Trumpin Trump Trump’s Trump is. Who will Trump us from Trump’s Trumping Trump Trump.

During break time today, some kids were playing basketball with a crumpled sheet of paper and the recycling bin. As they played, I ran to deflect a shot and was hit in the eye. Using my best melodramatic skills, I fell to the floor and started screaming. The ten or so kids in my room thought it was hilarious, and we all laughed. It was a perfect authentic moment.

A few minutes later, I was in the hall and noticed some grade six kids playing a game called Bean Boozled- you spin a wheel that indicates which jelly bean you should eat. They look the same but taste differently. I asked to play. I spun the wheel had to choose between peach or barf. Oh, did I not mentioned that one of the flavours is disgusting? I ate a bean….and yup you guessed it- it tasted like barf. I pretended to throw up and we all laughed.

In a matter of fifteen minutes I reminded myself why I teach. This is how you build trust and community and relate to kids. You make yourself vulnerable and stupid, and you make them laugh. They moment you stop making kids laugh you might as well do something else.

It was a good break. Back in class, I conferred with a a girl who is comparing the male relationships in The Kite Runner and Aristotle and Dante, while another student was comparing and contrasting the racial themes in To Kill A Mocking Bird with White Privilege by Macklemore.

The nights go by so fast. Home. Run. Dinner. Kids asleep. Some work. Some writing. Some TV. Some reading. Some Sleep. Habits lead to accomplishing goals, but routines can kill souls. I wonder if next term, I need to establish occasional midweek weirdness.

Meet a neighborhood friend for a beer. (Claire, Lee, Scott, Luke, Richard) Catch a movie. Go for a swim, a walk, a bike ride…something to break up the routine. My routine has been good up to now, but I cannot read political internet every night and want to tear my insides out every night before sleep.

I need to cultivate joy. Any ideas?

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