Friday, April 12, 2013


Quiet. I have found quiet. The sound of my fingers hitting the keys sound like the clicking of palm tree leaves in the breeze. Fans whir above my head in soft murmurs. The afternoon air is velvet on my skin. I'm surrounded by blue, chalky walls, and when I glance up from this screen I see a black chalkboard covered in algebra equations.

Be present. Write what you know. All week long, I have been coaching and drilling and testing my middle school English students to be present, use their senses, just write write write. Let expression emerge by movement of the pen.

So right now, I'm letting expression emerge by movement of my fingers. I just concluded my second week of teaching, ever. For two weeks I have been amazed, humiliated, surprised, exasperated, and utterly absorbed. Although I am surrounded by whirls of activities and noise and meetings and lessons, I have rarely ever felt so quiet in my life.


Just quiet.

I am doing my duty. With that comes this quiet inside. Even in my depths of discouragement in teaching, I always conclude: where else would I be? What else would I be doing?

My teaching needs a lot of improvement. A lot. Yet Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: "Better to do one's own duty poorly than another's duty well."

I had found quiet in this computer lab, and now boys have filled the room, their voices reverberating off the walls in discussion of fight scene choreography. Laughter rises. There - a boy just rang the bell that hangs on the tree outside - bong bong bong bong. The boys filter out of the room, chatting.

Class begins soon.

Once again I can hear the clicking of my fingers moving across this keyboard, like palm tree leaves moving in the breeze. All is quiet.   


Jessica M said...

Congratulations on your second week of teaching. I think it is so wonderful that you are teaching you students to write in a state of mindfulness. This is an invaluable practice that is sure to cross over and enhance every aspect of their lives if they are inspired enough to appreciate it.

Enjoyed this post. :)

Vinod said...
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To write is to dare the soul. So write.