There is something soothing about coming home to a quiet house; especially after a full day of raucous teens milling around the classroom. Upon arrival, I go about my simple rituals: brewing a cup of de-caf; preheating the handcrafted mug bought at a Renaissance Faire (Coffee seems to taste better when the mug is warm); turning on inside Christmas lights. With days darkening earlier, my magical world starts coming alive as early as 4:00 pm.
Then I cozy into my favorite writing spot and think. This serene coffee break includes reflecting over the day. It began with a morning Skype phone call from my daughter—definitely a treat. I am still amazed at how close her voice sounds even though she speaks from across the world in Seoul, South Korea. Hearing her talk was well worth the surrendered morning writing time.
After readying for work, I rushed off to school. Today, students officially began their “I Can Change my World” projects and excitement filled the air. Perhaps it was showing them Elya and Jesse riding on an elephant that clinched the deal. Whatever the magic clearly present, each student dove into creating a pros and cons list of the reasons for and against his or her opinion.
“Mrs. Luna, I think the City of Lancaster needs to build more youth centers so we have activities that poor families can do for free!”
“Great idea! Perhaps you can send your project to the City Counsel as a suggestion,” I returned.
“It’s wrong to make children slaves!” Another student yelled.
At one moment I chuckled watching the mayhem. Former student projects passed around the table going every which way so those undecided could get ideas. Students made rulers into helicopters in spite of my attempts to stifle the fun. The ideas pouring forth were far more advanced than their spelling skills so I gave into writing the words down for them so as not to interrupt creative flow. Their requests went off like popcorn in an uncovered pan.
“How do you spell education?”
“How do you spell stricter?”
“How do you spell suffering?”
In the middle of the excited confusion, I heard a “crack” and shattered plastic pieces launched barely missing the face of one girl. A ruler was bent to the breaking point (kind of like my nerves on those especially rough days).
All in all, we ended on a positive note as the final bell rang. Students poured out of the door yelling good bye over shoulders. I stayed after school in order to unwind and sigh. In spite of the confusion, students successfully completed the first leg of the persuasive essay journey. Then I reminded myself that these youth just might one day change their world; but for now, they are one of life’s little delights.