DAY 19: LEAN IN TOWARD THE LIGHT

CORRECTIONS CORNER: Ms. Prisilla in my classroom whom I mentioned in yesterday’s blog DOES NOT spell her name with a “c”. So, that’s my BAD. And I thought I’d fix that right at the top. ACCOUNTABILITY AND WHATNOT. Although, chances are high I still spelled it wrong, or another word wrong. I do that sometimes. #human

I ended my work day singing. We had choir practice today (WHICH PRISILLA SHOULD ATTEND). If you missed my last recounting of the choir situation, lemme ‘splain it. The Red Cross is supporting various projects to bolster the recovery of our community after the fires last year. Our choir is one of those projects. We are study in the healing and community building powers of singing together in a choir.

I don’t know about anyone else attending choir; I love it. I miss singing in choir. That was my favorite part of middle school. I missed out on high school choir because I was a band geek (saxophone - LAST CHAIR) . I did sing in church choirs, but it has been AGES since I did that. I love it. I am moderately, average when it comes to singing. I once caused an ENTIRE row in band to turn and stare at me because I said, “Isn’t it cool that we each practice our parts, and then when we come together it sounds like music?” I get enthusiastic about music and hadn’t learned to hide my enthusiasm. This comment caused all the BAND NERDS to consider me a NERD NERD. WHATEVER, I stand by what I said; it is amazing when all the instruments come together and make something bigger than any one instrument could make on their own.

That’s kind of what we have been doing at work lately, too. We are working hard at building something new. Our school is evolving and things are changing. It isn’t comfortable, and requires a GREAT DEAL of work, but it feels like we are creating something even stronger than what we already have. Of course that could be the singing endorphins talking. I do lean toward the bright-side of things. At least, I want to be the kind of person who leans toward positivity. I try to picture myself that bean sprout that I grew back in 3rd grade. It actually twisted itself into an odd angle, stretching out toward the sunshine streaming into our classroom.

I also think a lot about that story — I think it might have been from Tuesdays with Morrie, Terina will know. He tells the story of his priest teaching a lesson, and beginning by smashing a watermelon with a sledge hammer to a student group of parishioners. Then he took the same sledge hammer to a piece of oak and turning to his audience said, “Things that take a long time to grow are stronger than those that grow quickly.” It’s true. A watermelon grows in a single season, while an oak takes ages to grow. When i read in my science book that an acorn I planted wouldn’t become a tree until my children were grown, I shook my head and asked, “What’s the point?” (True to my personality, I wasn’t very patient back then). Now, I’m old and can see the power of learning over a long period of time.

Speaking of things moving slowly, I was really blown away from this concept from that math lecture I attended last Friday night. (Those Band Nerds were right, I AM a NERD NERD). Jo Boaler talked about the fact that mathematicians don’t do ANYTHING quickly. They spend years pouring over difficult problems. SPEED isn’t a priority with true mathematicians working in their field. It is only in the classroom that we convince ourselves that speed is essential. So maybe all the kids who are slower to learn math, might actually be the ones who develop a deeper and more thoughtful understanding of mathematics. It’s something to think about. I was slow to learn maths - always struggling, but as I’ve strengthened my math muscles over time, I find myself lost in that same pool of sunlit glory when studying an equation. It has a beauty all its own. As the pieces fall into place and I finally solve the equation, I can hear the echoes of an orchestra playing together in beautiful harmony.

See, I am a NEXT LEVEL nerd.

Keep moving forward,

Jen