The unfortunately not-so-shocking result of last night and the dismal feeling it left behind, was oddly juxtaposed by the beautiful, sunny morning with which the day began. With the plus 17 degree forecast in November, which is usually one of the dreariest months, it was hard not to feel positive. Since it certainly doesn't help to be negative or worry, I decided to go with it. I felt pretty good, though a little exhausted this morning, and it is a feeling I carried throughout the day.
My students, were mostly oblivious to the election results, or potential changes coming as a result in the world, which I believe is pretty typical for 12. A few students were talking about Trump's victory and the predictions of doom and gloom, and asked me what we were going to do. I told them that we were going to do the same thing we do every day, that we are going to focus on being positive, taking care of ourselves, and doing what we need to do, including our learning in all of our subjects.
That was also the message with which I began the meditation with my class as we began the morning together. But within about 30 seconds, Student B, who had been calling attention from the beginning of the national anthem, continued by pulling his hoodie over his head and face, and then closing it shut completely with the drawstring. I went over and untied the laces, told him to take it down, as I shifted the focus, and asked the question everyone is getting used to, "Who do you want to be?"
I addressed Student B, suggesting he ask himself what he really needed, and why he was looking for it with negative attention. I reminded him that he was better than his behaviour, and he deserved better than the negative attention he was calling and receiving, after which he stopped. I was able follow up on the theme in a conversation with him later and he ended up having a relatively productive day.
I went on to remind everyone that it is a challenging task to look inside and face our fears, and that meditation can help us do this, and overcome our challenges, but we have to be willing to do it and we have to believe that we can. I reminded them that I believe they can do it.
Then we got to our usual meditation, the prompts, breath count and focused breath, inhaling the positivity to be their best at whatever they see themselves learning, and exhaling their fears and whatever they imagine block them.
By the time we got to the silence, everyone was quiet, mostly with their heads down, including Student B. I closed my eyes for the two minutes or so, marvelling in the stillness and enjoying the silence, sending the positivity of our connection into the world, while taking comfort in mine. As soon as we were done, we got on with our day.
My switch class came to my room in period 2 and they were a lot louder from the start. After a brief introduction, I started the music to begin our meditation. It surprised me that some people continued talking, which I noted quite sternly. telling them that I didn't need to remind them that when the music began they were quiet.
Then I started the track again and this time they didn't need any further reminders, everyone settled in and the room was quiet. One student, who has been struggling academically, was furiously writing in her French booklet, doing work that should have been done two weeks ago. I told her it had waited this long and it could wait five minutes more, that she was much more important than any work she had to do. She put her pencil down and then her head, as did the usual crowd. My breathers breathed, a few sat up, and my fidgeter fidgeted as he does, in between putting his head down for a few breaths here and there.
The five and a half minutes went by quickly. I started as I did in the previous class, focusing on our need to do what we can and to be positive and productive, just as we do every day. Then we went through the prompts, breath count and focused breath, again breathing in the positivity and letting go of the negative blocks.
At one point, one girl needed Kleenex. She mindfully got up to get it and took care of herself, without disturbing the room at all. It was lovely, as were the two minutes or so of silence at the end, in which the room was quiet and a little more still than usual. I again took a few deep breaths and found comfort in my students and our practice. The universe is greater than the power of one man, and I believe, even though there will always be narcissists and ignorance, the world has changed since 1933.
I am hopeful despite the potential darkness, otherwise I don't think I could do my job, or be who I am. So I will keep building on that, with my students and in our practice, and enjoy the fact that tomorrow is the end of a week and there is a long weekend (of marking and report cards) ahead.