Thursday, October 27, 2016

Days 28 & 29- Wednesday Headache, Thursday Healing

Wednesday morning I woke up with the migraine I had gone to bed with, the pain sitting in my left temple consistently throbbing, but not yet spread to my eye or my stomach, and so I went to school, hoping it would pass.

I got to my classroom, only turned off half the lights, and as we started the morning I told my class I wasn't feeling great- that I had a headache and wasn't sure how I would feel through the day, but would appreciate their quiet. I took attendance, and as we were beginning and I was giving some information, I happened to be standing right beside Student A, who was smashing his pencil into the air and through a piece of paper, making a sharp noise with each hole.

I turned to him and asked him to stop. I grabbed a piece of Plasticine and handed it to him as I did, reminding him I had a headache and asking him to please do whatever he needed to do quietly. When he wasn't interested in the Plasticine, I went to the box and grabbed a pile of paper, as I talked about how important it is to ask for what we need, and he began drawing as I handed it to him. I told everyone, just as I had mentioned my headache and that I needed quiet. that asking doesn't always guarantee that we will get what we need, and it helps if what we need can actually be achieved, but it is important we ask, especially if there is a chance we can get it.

Just as we started the meditation I also made the connection to gratitude. I noted that when we get what we need, we have to be grateful, and that in life, it is easier to be happy when we can align our wants with our needs, and the goals can attain.

Then I started the music and the meditation, and the room, which had been quiet before, was immediately still and silent again. Student A put his head down on his binder and just about everyone else put their heads down as usual. Student B sat up and looked around a little,then rested his head on his hand and was quiet, not calling attention, and neither did his friend across the room. I thoroughly appreciated the silence.

I moved through all the prompts pretty quickly, not rushing, but not giving any extra instructions- they know what to do and don't need me. Plus I didn't have the energy. We enjoyed more than half the track, or about 3 minutes in silence. I had my eyes closed, breathing in energy and trying to breathe the headache away. I was in too much pain to enjoy the silence, but I truly appreciated it. It was lovely.

The meditation ended and we moved into the French lesson I had planned for the morning, the quiet and calm remained in the room, especially as Student A had again fallen asleep. He slept for the rest of the period and woke up as everyone was leaving the room to go to Band/Exploratory. He was surprised he had slept, but woke up in a good mood and went to the next class.

I had prep time for the next two periods and a lot I had to get done, but as the migraine did not pass, but started getting worse and spreading, I made the call to bring in a substitute and go home for the afternoon. We have a part-time teacher in our building who turned out to be available, so it was especially easy to plan and pass on the information she would need.

I tried to get done what I absolutely need to do that morning, in between resting my head and fighting the nausea, before my switch class came back for fourth period. When they came back from gym, before we began, we all had to go to the library for picture day. It took about 20 minutes to get through both classes, and so when we finally got started there was just 20 minutes left in the morning,

There was no better time to meditate, especially because at this point I was really not feeling well. I told my switch class about my headache and that I would be leaving at lunch before we got started, as we had to put some things in order for the afternoon. Then we moved into the meditation and everyone was very quiet, especially for my switch class, all the excitement of picture day and the short time left before lunch.

I turned off the lights and began the music and everyone was pretty quiet, even my fidgeter put his head down. Everyone else did their thing, and at this point I had even less energy than earlier that morning, and gave all the usual prompts with as little instruction as possible. As I did, I didn't even have the energy to walk around the room, I just spoke from my chair. As we moved into the silence, I was having trouble keeping my head up. I leaned forward with my head in my hands, rubbing my temples and taking deep breaths. It helped a little and I was very grateful for the silence, but I was also a little worried that they were so quiet because I was freaking them out. I didn't want to scare them, but my head was really sore.

The meditation ended pretty quickly, and I was grateful for the moments, and that the morning was almost over and I was going home. I spent the last 10 minutes giving a brief introduction to the French and then was so happy to go home to bed.

I spent the all afternoon and most of the evening there yesterday, which is why this writing is happening today, and I am grateful it is.

It took most of the night, but when I woke up in the morning my headache was finally gone. I still wasn't feeling great, but I was much better than yesterday and so I went to school. All reports were good and there was a positive feel in the room in the morning. Quite a few students expressed their concern and were glad to see me back. That felt pretty good.

I had the library booked for writing and so my class and I headed there right after announcements. They logged onto the computers before we started and then turned their chairs. I told them if they really needed to put their heads down they could, but I challenged them to take the opportunity and try to sit up straight, and today most of them did.

Students where spread throughout the library around the computers, and so no one was looking at any one person in particular. The librarian had turned off the lights and joined us, and perhaps others sensed our stillness, because there were no interruptions for the entire meditation, No one came into the library at all.

Our meditation was peaceful and focused. We moved through the prompts, breath count and focus on writing, inhaling the confidence to see the words on the screen and exhale the worry, fear and doubts about the kind of writers they are. We moved into the silence and it was as still as it had been in the class the day before, but I could appreciate it so much more today, I told my students that when ended the meditation, and the librarian also commented on how nice it felt and thanked us for bringing it there. My class is getting really good at meditating together.

I saw my switch class just before lunch again for French, and it was almost as quiet today as it had been yesterday. There was nothing unusual or out of the ordinary and no major distractions. For the most part it was pretty regular- most heads down and few looking around and my breathers breathing. There were a couple of kids out sick all week, and so it was even quieter with a couple less bodies in the room. We inhaled  in what we needed, and exhaled what we didn't, breathing in the focus and letting go of the distractions. Then we moved into the stillness. I took a few deep breaths, and then opened my eyes and watched them breathe, just appreciating the moment and my students.

We ended the meditation and moved into our French before we broke for lunch. The afternoon then flew by, with some work on Human Rights in Social Studies, where both classes came together with incredible focus. Before the afternoon ended, we rewarded their amazing work, and took advantage of the double digit temperatures at the end of October with a walk to the park.

When we gave them the news, that we would head outside, the smiles and responses on their faces were remarkable. They acted like they had won the lottery, they were so excited. Maybe they are catching on to this happiness thing more than I realized. That 40 minutes outside certainly made the afternoon awesome...and fly by,

Plus tomorrow is Friday and the end of the 5 day week. Hope it's a good one for everyone!


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