Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kid count

This week, I taught 84 kids and performed for maybe twice that many. No way to compare that to a word count, and I shouldn't try. One has tangible, in-the-moment impact . . . the other's slow and solitary and only a tiny drop in a giant bucket, and I have to have faith it's worth the time and energy that takes me away from more blatantly beneficial things.

On the other hand, when you're teaching in classrooms so stuffed that the kids can't stand in circle without stepping on each other, you can start to feel like teaching's a drop in the bucket too.

I'm proud of how I spend my time, and I believe in it, regardless of whether the tiny ripples I'm sending into the cosmos peter out or turn into glorious tsunamis.

Not that tsunamis are glorious. It's the butterfly flapping wings thing.

Forgive me. It's been a long week.

The performances were to kick off the Words @ Play program that Barrel of Monkeys has worked with for the past two years. I love, love this program, and they seem to love the monkeys.

This is my favorite poem that made it into our show at the Chicago Humanities Festival last year, by a girl named Mana:
Silent ice lamps cannot talk or
their warm breath will melt them.
Silent ice lamps cannot think
or their lights will bust.
Silent ice lamps have to stay cold
or they will melt.
Silent ice lamps can be used as ice cubes.

On my own writing front, I spent the last two days reading my novel (all 293 double-spaced pages of it) and scribbling lots of notes. I know I have too much stuff going on in my story, but it's all tangled up, sticky, like spider web. Wish me luck.

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