Friday, February 17, 2017

Tuesday-Friday and Sickness in Between

Tuesday, February 14

I switched our Day 3 library time to Day 1 because I knew we would be away on Day 3, and it was free first thing in the morning on Day 1, so both classes met again to take advantage of the space and computers, while they worked on their research for Social Studies. It didn't take long for everyone to get comfortable, especially the boys who sprawled out on the beanbag chairs and on the floor. Everyone else found a chair at a table or by a computer and settled quickly.

There was no one else in the library as I turned off the lights and started the music, the familiar under six minute track. We connected with our roots in Treaty 1 Territory Land, and moved through the prompts, breath counts, and focused breathing, inhaling the determination and focus to follow through on their research, while exhaling the distractions and fear.

As I spoke I walked around the library and as I invited my students to enjoy the silence, I found a chair and joined them. There was no need to monitor any behaviour, and so I closed my eyes and enjoyed a few minutes of the quiet of the library as I breathed with them. As the track ended, I brought everyone back and they got to their research. The periods were productive and the majority of the students were engaged in their projects. It was a good start to the day, and the smooth nature of our learning made the fact that I was getting sick again easier to manage.

After lunch on Tuesday I started to get the chills, and by 3 o'clock I was pretty sure I had a fever and was leaving my sub plan for the next day. There are a lot of people, both students and staff, sick at school, and so it would be no surprise if I got it there, but I also suspect I picked up at the gym. It took me a long time to return to a regular gym routine, and I am pretty sure it is the germs there, and the ironies of getting sick while trying to get healthy, that felled my immune system, at least for a couple of days.

Wednesday I stayed home and slept most of the day and the evening too. I was so sick, I didn't even turn on my computer. In the evening the fever was gone and I knew I was feeling well enough to manage our planned field trip the next morning, a visit to the Jewish Heritage Center of Western Canada where we would hear a Holocaust survivor speak.

On Thursday morning, feeling a little better, I booked a sub for the afternoon and went to school to go on our field trip. We had to be at the center in the south end of the city at 9:30, so we left at 9:00 a.m. For the first time this year, we didn't even have time to meditate. Leaving that early was well worth it, as the experience was powerful for all of our students, whose behaviour was respectful and compassionate throughout the morning.

We got back to school just in time for lunch, and on a regular day we would have meditated in the afternoon, but on this day I went home to rest.

Friday, February 17

I went back to school to close the week and though I wasn't feeling 100%, I was feeling somewhat better. As soon as I got there, I went to the library and was happy to discover it was free for the first 2 periods of the morning, and so I could bring each class for one period.

I began with my class, and once again upon our arrival the library was empty. With only my class, the space seemed empty and particularly quiet. Just about everyone sat down at the tables, with a few at the computers, logging in before we began.

With one period and having had a 2 day break, I chose a short 5 minute track. It was the first time I used it, and the music was unfamiliar, though no one said anything, at the time or after. I turned off the library lights and kept my words very brief, with the usual prompts and a focus on a strong close to the week with the productive use of time today. As I spoke, a couple of girls were communicating, talking without words, which I noticed and pointed out was just like talking, even if no one else saw or heard. They looked at me, and then put their heads down, knowing I was right and they shouldn't be taking the experience away from each other.

The didn't disturb the quiet, and though the track was shorter, I had spoken briefly, and the silence was longer. I sat down and breathed with my students for about 3 minutes, grateful I was feeling well enough to keep my head up and breathe. As the track ended, I noted that it may have felt a little shorter, because it was, though they also may not have noticed. Either way, no one said anything. They did get to work for a quiet and productive period and a nice start to the day.

The period ended and my switch class arrived. As we got ready to meditate, a group of boys piled onto the beanbag chairs again. With only one class there, I told them we had more space and they had to spread out and couldn't be piled on each other. I told them they needed their own space to breathe and couldn't be touching anyone else. They complied without complaint, spreading out on the beanbag chairs and the floor. Again, with only one class and everyone spread out the room felt sparse.

Student 1 took a chair and sat in one of the corner of the library, his face to the books. But he kept turning around, and then making noise, clearly in need of some attention. He looked at me and I looked back, smiling, but also stern and clear in my desire for him to be still, or at least quiet. Before he settled, he waved at me, as if to acknowledge my wishes and that he had gotten what he wanted as well. I didn't wave back, but smiled and he quieted for the rest of the meditation.

The five minutes felt different with the unfamiliar track. Time moved a little more slowly with a few extra moments in silence, as again I had kept my words short, like I had earlier in the morning.I repeated more or less the same meditation, focusing on a positive and productive Friday.

The peace of the five minutes carried over into the rest of the period and then the afternoon. It was a good end to a sick week, and hopefully next week I will be feeling much better.

At least I have a long weekend to recover. I hope you enjoy your weekend too!

No comments:

Post a Comment