What I Learned in January, or We Got a Puppy

Thank the Lord January is over.  It has felt like three Januarys (Januaries?) joined hands in front of us and said, “You shall not pass.”  January brought the return to school routine, crazy events like lip-sync battling and Homecoming, April weather, and a little furball JD affectionately calls Poopface.  While I love the resolutions-new-beginnings-renewal-ness of January, it’s time to get this year rolling.  But before we roll right into February, here are a few things I learned in January:

1. If you listen closely when you’re out of the room, it sounds like someone has split personalities when talking to a dog. “Nooo….. Chew this…. Noooo…. Good girl…. No…..sit….. Goo–wait, noooo…. Don’t do that…. You’re so cute….” Training a puppy takes a lot of work and patience and “We’re in it togethers”, but the moment that furball kisses my face or stumbles as she runs toward me, I suddenly can’t remember the nips and accidents and spastic freakouts. Getting a puppy with JD has been an amazing (and amazingly tiring) start to 2015.


2. I think I would like and dislike being a Shakespearean actor. The more I read Shakespeare with my students, the more I feel like I would love to be saying those words for real, onstage. It’s incredible how much I put myself out there when I’m teaching (see #4). The passion, the vengeance, the agony–Shakespeare wrote real people (thank you, Samuel Johnson, for pointing that out). However, I love explaining the significance of what Macbeth has said or how the blood on Brutus’s hands is a symbol. I’m afraid if I toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company, I would be stopping every few lines to ask the audience if they caught that.

3. Sometimes you have to keep your options open.
Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset4. I am much goofier and braver in my classroom than I am in real life. But being goofy and brave in my classroom has made me more comfortable with myself outside the classroom. I will get on my knees to deliver an impassioned monologue, gallop around the room to illustrate iambic pentameter, and compare the Greek chorus to High School Musical just to draw a student into the lesson–things I would typically never do in front of my peers. But putting myself out there in front of my students has made me bolder in front of my peers. Students, you teach me every day to be brave.

5. I still need my mom sometimes to calm me down when I’m crying. I called her this week at 6:30 AM completely dissolved because Lucy had gotten sick. She gave me advice, “It’s gonna be okays,” and time to calm down, even though she had to get ready for work. She’s the best.

6. 5th grade heartbreak stories become funny when you look back on them at 25. I’m totally over you, Ryan.

7. Sometimes sharing a sunset with a pup quiets the heart more than 5 AM readings of Ezekiel.
LucysunsetWhat has January taught you?


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