Thursday, September 4, 2008

Simple Possibility by Patresa Hartman

Today I am most grateful for the palpable boredom of my Wednesday morning 9:00 class. I am thankful for my students' blank stares and gaping jaws, for the monotonous lull of my own voice, for the imaginary tumbleweed that blew across our desks in response to my "discussion" questions. I am grateful for all the backpack zippers that pulled open and then closed shut five minutes before class ended and for the dozen necks that twisted toward the clock at regular 40 second intervals.

I am grateful for the self-consciousness, the impulse to flee, for the squirming discomfort I feel when I suddenly realize that what I'm doing isn't working.

As peace loving as I am, as content as I feel to sit and sit and sit, I notice how much I crave discontentment. I loathe it; but I want it. I don't know whether to be grateful for the dis-ease or grateful for the awareness of the craving. Do you know what I'm saying? It is natural, I'm sure, to invite discomfort as a license to leap, but I'm not completely convinced it's healthy.

I think it's a combination of friction and forward propulsion. At the exact moment the student in the back row swallowed the universe with his yawn, I decided something must be done. My pride would not survive four months staring at 20 students' tonsils. Cogs turned; my brain showered sparks: I would overhaul my entire semester plan. I would burn everything old and rebuild. I would start from scratch; it would be sparkly and new and relevant. I left class ready and invigorated. I left class with a project.

I don't know what this means to be grateful for projects -- if it's the creator in me (something to celebrate) or the restless wanderer (something to fix). But, I like blank pages and blank screens. I find them inspiring. I find them motivating -- miles thick with possibility.

And so today I will suspend any self-analysis on what it means to be addicted to forward thinking instead of grounded in Now. I will reserve today for the simpleness of Possibility. And that will be quite enough.


Joanne said...

The simpleness, and enormity, of possibility. It's a great word.

Barbara Quinn said...

Oh yes, possibility is a wonderful seductress. Revel in it, act, and be alive. Sounds like a great plan to me!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh, the blank page, the blank screen, the blank tomororw, the blank next minute! yes ...!

"swallowed the universe with his yawn" - I wish I'd have written that *laugh*...

Angie Ledbetter said...

Hats off to you, teacher lady. (Call in some guest speakers, play music and see how their classwork might improve, let 'em get up and stretch, get out color books and colors for use when work is finished quickly and have a contest...shake 'em up!)

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