One of the teachers in my school was selling bracelets for her daughter (who has been ill) that says, "It's all good." I have been wearing it in support for her, but also because it reminds me that life is "all good" when things seems like they are about to spiral out of control (or when I am surrounded by negative thinking, which often happens behind the desk in my library -sigh!). I just read Bette's blog about how special Thanksgiving is, but especially, for her family, the day before Thanksgiving. It put me in a reflective mood...so here is my day before story...
Last night I was at La Guardia waiting for the moment when I would see my wonderful, tall, too-thin son , Adam, appear after a long day of traveling from Wisconsin, where he attends the University of Wisconsin. I hadn't seen him since the third week in August (except through one iChat). Finally, I spotted him walking down the ramp, looking like a typical college student - unshaven, messy hair, backpack and laptop. What joy to hug him hard. And I thought, that despite my worrying the past three months about his health and happiness, "It's all good." Later that night, the sound of deep male voices and laughter emanating from my kitchen as Adam's best friends raided my pantry while they caught up with each other about their lives at Columbia, Brown and Wesleyan (yes, he has smart friends) allowed me to go up to my bedroom, get under the covers, and think again, "It's all good."
Yesterday at school was insane. I scheduled all of my fourth and fifth grade research classes to meet with Noel Forte and me to make sure we were at the point we needed to be at in our various projects. There wasn't any time to stop and reflect on how wonderfully these students are doing - how engrossed they were as they went into their wikis, their blogs, their powerpoints, transforming and combining. As one of my classes sat in teams arguing (yes, very heated arguing) as they brainstormed ideas for a new U.S. holiday for our Federal Holidays project, I couldn't have been happier. In Adam Dugger's fourth grade class, we brainstormed questions to ask our Native American Project partner school in SC when we videoconference with them next week. Happy, happy, joy, joy. Collaboration, Synthesis and Constructivist Learning at its best with all four of my classes!
Yesterday was also a banner day for me with paychecks. It coincided that I received my paychecks from both of my jobs as well as from the Teacher Center for the Digital Storytelling Course I taught. Was I happy about the money? Of course, especially when my husband complained during the drive to LGA about the skyrocketing cost of heating oil. But, honestly, what really made me happy was what those checks represent - accomplishment. I am pulling it off - somehow - weaving all of this together, as Tim Gunn from Project Runway would say, I am "making it work." Bette talks about how layered our learning is, how we step into and out of different spaces. My life is like that. During the course of one day, I do step in and out of so many spaces, and I have to say that I love it. Although it is often exhausting, and I definitely do not get enough sleep, and I can't seem to get myself to stay on a diet (at some point I will step into that space and FOCUS), I can't envision my life in any other way. How boring it would be. How lucky I am. How lucky I was yesterday, to start my day with a random hug from a fourth grade (troubled) student and to end it with a powerful one from my son. As I said, it's all good. I am thankful.
Carry on! (Now, if only I could look like Heidi Klum).