Thursday, September 10, 2009

little happinesses

Today was full of them, once I looked.

The facts: After a particularly bad night of sleep--you know, one of those where you wake up from crazy, stressful dreams at 3, and 3:30, and 3:45, and 4:17, and on--I decided to just cut my losses and go running before heading off to school. That's how I found myself pounding down the street in the 5:30 dark, breathing hard and feeling great, one of the only people seemingly alive in the world at that time. Not only did it totally clear my groggy, dream-fuzzed mind, but it gave me the time and the clarity to finally decide, with certainty, what the school day was going to look like. These early days are so much about setting up routines and the tenor of my classroom that finite plans--plans that tie up all the loose things I want students to internalize for the rest of the year--often come late in the game. It felt great to pound it all out in a pre-school run. I may have to incorporate more of those into my routine. Shake things up a bit.

The facts: One of my coworkers called me during my prep period today to ask if I wanted to come down and play her piano while her students--my students from last year--filled out a worksheet. I hemmed and hawed (performance anxiety, you know), but ultimately decided that I was being a wimp and I should just do it. And it made me so happy.

Imagine walking into a room of your previous students, all of whom seem so excited to see you again. ("Ms Honnold!!! Do you miss us? Are this year's students as cool as we were?") And then imagine sitting down and starting to play the piano, and the room seems to instantly settle. Not only were they quiet, immediately, but it felt like everyone's shoulders relaxed, like everyone breathed a little more deeply, like everyone was just a little more calm. It was spectacularly awesome. Afterward they clapped and told me to come back, and I left with a huge smile on my face.

How cool is it of my coworker, by the way, to think of having me play the piano while her kids do a worksheet? I love my job.

The facts: I've just now finished a batch of vegan muffins for any of my coworkers who bike to work tomorrow as part of the bike commute challenge. This year, I'm going on the offensive trying to get people to use their bikes--and that includes bribery. But cooking for others is one of the best things ever. And whenever I do it, I imagine Like Water for Chocolate--they must taste better because of all the love and happy thoughts radiating from me as I made them. Because they're pretty damn good.

I am a very, very happy stasia right now.

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