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Friday, October 10, 2014

The Rhythm of a School Year: Thoughts on the Eve of Another Columbus-Day Weekend

There is a certain rhythm to the school year.  It adds rhythm to life.  As sure as school comes in September, all my life summer has turned to fall.  Then, the apples begin to fall and the Jewish holidays are upon us.  The changes in leaf color add beauty to the changes in life.  The semester rolls along punctuated by holidays that allow one to catch up on lesson planning, grading and sleep.  As the pleasing smells of Thanksgiving fade, the calendar turns joyfully toward Christmas.  And, I hear the bells and the carols at every turn.  It's the culmination of my nonacademic year.  With a tinge of nostalgia and melancholy, I make the final turn to the new year, Regents review, a new semester, a winter break and the hopes of seeing more of that white fluffy stuff that can become either a menace to society or remain a beautiful day.  

Spring brings rebirth and the Easter/Passover holidays.  The march through May seems long, but Memorial Day reminds us of the far harder marches made by our forebears.  Blessed summer is around the bend.  Time to smell the roses and recharge the batteries before charging forth again.

I shiver to think what school would be like without these restorative holidays.  I shiver to think how the stress would mount for teacher and student alike.  I leave you with this final thought:  For anyone who thinks teachers have it easy, try becoming a teacher yourself and see how far you get before the burnout sets in.   

Enjoy the Columbus-Day weekend.  It may not be Thanksgiving, but there's no reason not to be thankful!  Stay happy and healthy!

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