A few more days of thankfulness…
November 3 – The sense of scent. When I was five years old, I started kindergarten. And between the glue, the construction paper, the creativity, or maybe mold in the carpet, the hallway gave off a scent that, to this day, reminds me of childhood learning. I’ve never been in a school that smells exactly like that, but I few years ago, I had the opportunity to substitute in my elementary school. And one step into the kindergarten hallway, I caught a whiff of that magical scent. And memories of The Letter People and nap time, both archaic practices now, came tumbling back to me. This Saturday, I spent part of the day at the Yankee Candle outlet in Williamsburg with my friend, Karen. And it was amazing how the rosewood scents remind me of Nazareth, smoky at sunset, while cinnamon makes me think of holidays at home. When I lived in Puerto Rico, I always used a particular Glade Plug-in scent. Now that scent brings back memories of sunny days and palm trees. It’s amazing how we have the ability to transport ourselves to a distant memory with only a sniff.
November 4 – Weekends. What is more glorious than Sunday? Church. Sleep. Family. Friends. Football. I only regret the weekend ends after tonight. I wish today could last forever.
November 5 – Teacher Workdays. You wake up and head to work. Lesson plans completed, little minds to be filled. After work, there are papers to be graded, lesson plans to be adjusted, conferences and IEP meetings to attend, 504s to write, the list is endless. But…some days you wake up and head to work. There are no lesson plans, no little minds. You can do everything at your own pace. You eat a lunch that is more than 15 minutes long. You can talk to other adults during the day and use the bathroom whenever you want. You accomplish so much on these days. Oh, teacher workdays, how I love thee!
November 6 – The Republic. It’s election day today. Every year, I think of pictures from the 1994 election in South Africa…the first democratic election there after the end of apartheid. I was only in third grade at the time, but remember being so impressed with the men and women who waited for hours to vote for the first time in their lives. Many men and women in America take that right for granted. Usually, when I go to vote (it is an annual thing, folks!), the lines are short. Even during the 2008 election, I only had to wait a few minutes before being directed to a machine. Today, however, I waited nearly an hour. And this morning, it took voters almost three hours at my district to vote. I don’t know where these men and women came from, but I was ridiculously thrilled at having to stand in line.
To quote a certain keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention: