Borrowed time…


At this moment, the house is very quiet.  No refrigerator hum or creaking of the rafters.  No background music, no TV.  Even the laptop fan is still.  Except for the blow of wind outside and the scratching of my pen, the only other sound is the dog snoring. 

She is curled like a comma in the cubby space of the desk where I write.  After several days of being home alone while I teach at a nearby middle school, she seems content to have me sharing this time with her. 

Yesterday, my car was towed for service, so this is a ‘borrowed’ time.  No alarm clock this morning, just a cold, wet nose nudging me awake.  It would have been day 4 of 10 with seventh graders.  We are using poetry to look “Through the Lens” of the Industrial Revolution, then and now.

I’ve asked the kids to view photos, magazines, posters, online material and find a face that speaks to them, someone they feel a connection with or might want to know better…and then we are writing from that imagined perspective.

Many chose the faces of children, finding it difficult to comprehend what their lives must have been like, required to work exhausting hours to help support their families instead of going to school.  And they struggled with the idea that it still happens today.  The ensuing conversations were thoughtful.  Most of the kids were engaged. 

At the end of the last session, a boy who hadn’t seemed very interested told me on his way out the door, “Miss, you can read my writing journal if you want.”  There at the end of his class reflection it said, “AWESOME!”  As a writer and educator, yesterday was a good day. 

And today, outside my window, the snow and bare winter branches are enjoying a raucous time in the wildly gusting wind.  Smoke pours from the chimney of the house across the street, the dog is still snoring.  Not a bad day so far…and it might get even better if I crawled under the desk and joined her.