Sunday, December 15, 2019

What Do I Know? What Do I Know?

What Do I Know?  Another semester of teaching, listening, thinking, considering has ended.  At 1:45 p.m. yesterday, I  finished the semester's grading for 157 students. Two colleges, six courses, countless portfolios and final exams and papers; not to mention the administrative work involved in keeping an Arts program alive and well.

I am grateful that I was able to do this work without falling behind. I stayed aware of every student, which can be challenging because some of them think they have a cloaking device and can be hidden in plain view.  There were moments of brilliance, and moments of surprise, and moments of  boredom.  It's what we teachers expect in our work.  It's what keeps me coming back.

Once again, after having family gather at our farm for Thanksgiving, I gleaned a cold and cough that has lasted for 3 weeks now.  My sad nose has had it.  It's going to go on strike. I did sleep well last night, for the first time in several weeks.  I sleep for a couple hours, then wake and work  in the early morning darkness.  You would think I would give up this ritual for more normal hours.

Maybe my spirit guide is an owl. I do love owls, especially Snowy and Long-eared Owls.  I hear them at night calling to each other.  In January, they will find their mates and set up their nests. In the thick of winter, their fledglings are born.  Now that I am "free' for the rest of 2019, I hope to spend my time wisely.  I want to take long walks, and see a few new movies, and meet up with friends that  I haven't seen in weeks. I want to write every day, without interruption.  I found my creative life (august-now) was caught in a vice grip. I literally had to filch time to do some of my own work.  Teaching is such a battery-draining enterprise.

For a teacher,the energy is flowing out.  For a writer, the energy has to flow in.  The creative process  demands no distractions or interruptions, and all I had this semester was exactly that-- interruptions with a capital I.

 Now, here I am, with weeks of free days on the calendar. Time to recharge and see what inspires me.

Happy holidays to all.

Artwork: Elizabeth King Durand May, 2019

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