Moment of Silence

16 01 2011

Some mornings I rack hours in a coffee shop, churning over curriculum attempting to package and deliver something both comprehensible and worth while. But sometimes all the preparation in the world can be thwarted by circumstances outside of my control: losing my voice because of a cold was one such obstacle. I thought it would get  better by Tuesday, but waking up in a congestive haze Wednesday pretty much concluded the contrary. My voice sounded like sand paper; forced oxygen through a tunnel of defeated instrument. Irritating. How was I going to get through a week of lecture, discussion, yelling to the kids in the back: Do you have something to share with the class? But I was mused over the students patience, their understanding and concern. Are you okay Ms. Whitney?  In half cursive I wrote quickly in black dry erase: I’ve lost my voice, but I’m fine class. We continued the lecture in silence, as I filled the board with notes. The following day, I had regained some resonance. Still irritated that my preparation couldn’t be translated vocally or with the physical vigor I pride in my demonstration. But in a moment I felt this melt away. Four sixth graders approached me in the hall as I filled my mug with hot water for tea. Ms. Whitney, are you feeling better? I turned, wanting to vent my frustration with a disappointed: No. But before I could answer, one added: Did you find your voice yet? I was speechless, literally, and for a moment emotional choked on the correctness of the statement. As best I could, I pushed the coarse syllables up from my sore throat: No, I’m still looking for it.




3 responses

17 01 2011
Audrey Quirk

Sixth graders are the best. I know how honored you are, as I am, to be able to teach kids at such an amazing age. They are literal but sensitive. They are brilliant but naive. They are dorky but hilarious. You are blessed. Keep laughing. It will save you from yourself and other dangerous things.

18 01 2011
Olivia R

Whitney that is so cute 🙂

23 01 2011


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