The equinox and Spring, bring it on….

Night and Day 2002 - courtesy of
Night and Day 2002 – courtesy of

The year is three quarters finished or at least it is for me. I am a teacher. A seventh grade language arts teacher and the third quarter finished Friday. We have one week before Spring Break begins and then the long march through April and May to finish the year. This year, we’ll be marching, probably more like stumbling, into the first full week of June.

Spring arrived this week on Thursday at 11:57 AM CDT local time. My students have been measuring sunrise, sunset, and the amount of daylight for locations across the globe – ranging from Tromso, Norway at 70°N to Stanley, Falkland Islands at 52°S and places in between. We began measuring last September on the occasion of the autumnal equinox and have been checking every month on the 22nd ever since. The students have gathered a lot of data. However, the lesson they learned was that Earth’s tilt is changing constantly and Thursday they realized that no matter where a person was on Earth Thursday the sun shone a tad bit more than twelve hours – the variance among the 32 locations we checked was ten minutes: from 12 hours and 16 minutes at the northern and southern extremes to 12 hours and 6 minutes nearest the equator. WOW. Spring is here, finally.

It has been a hard winter and there are reminders everywhere. The yard is a mess, but there are still piles of snow – ugly brownish, grey, piles of crusty snow along the street and by the mailbox where we had piled the snow to get the cars out of the driveway. There are a few bits of white snow left along the north side of the house and in the corner of the yard where the trees shade the sun and keep it from warming the earth beneath it. There are twigs broken from the trees and the grass is matted from winter’s heavy blanket of snow. Soon, the crocuses will begin poking out of the soil seeking the sun, then the daffodils, followed the trees sprouting leaves, and then the hostas and other perennials as another spring comes into full bloom. For now, it is still chilly and there is the possibility of snow this week. We aren’t really completely out of the woods until Mother’s Day in May – the traditional day of the final frost of the season. Regardless, we will continue to gain sunshine, daylight, and the warmth from the sun. It’s an endless cycle.

I also came across something fun to brighten my week Thursday afternoon and I wanted to pay it forward – even if it is a tad bit late. Thursday, March 20th was the International Day of Happiness as proclaimed by the United Nations. I discovered it when I checked CNN for news of the Malaysian airplane. I learned nothing new I and scrolled down the page for other interesting news before shutting the computer down for the day. I came across the challenge – “Bet you can’t watch this without smiling” and I clicked. And, I smiled. You can, too.

I had been in a happy mood all day long. I had morning bus duty. My job is to greet the buses as they arrive and mark the times they pull into the parking lot. I always do my best to put on a happy face for the students. I high five and greet them with a friendly morning. That morning I wore my shades and had my iPhone in my coat pocket playing Pharell Williams’s song “Happy,” set to repeat. The sun was shining and it was the beginning of a new day, full of possibilities. I could faintly hear the music over the buses and the kids, but I could hear it.

Later, I played the song and a couple of others in class during my student’s work time in ELA. It was a happy day.

Thursday, led to Friday, and then Saturday, and now it’s Sunday morning. Next week looms, but it too will be happy, full of possibilities. My geography students are still gathering banana stickers – we have over 500 and we’ll count them after spring break. My ELA classes are finishing their third unit, My Mask, Myself, and starting to write their literary analysis. They’ve grown so much this year and my job with them is slowly ending. After spring break, we’ll be wrapping up our time together as they morph into eighth graders. Next year, I will get a new batch of seventh graders and my job will begin anew. It’s an endless cycle.

For now, it’s Sunday morning – the sun is shining, the birds are singing and it’s gonna be a happy day, the first day of a happy week. I know it, I can feel it, there’s happiness in the air. So, I had better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time.

What makes your day a happy one? Or what is gonna make your day a happy one?   

19 thoughts on “The equinox and Spring, bring it on….

    1. Kimber – glad you came by from Susie’s place she always throws a good party. thanks for the compliment, I consider myself passionate about what I teach and I think most of my students get it (at some point)…. kids don’t care how much you know or how smart you are, they are only concerned about how much you care… that’s all that matters. that’s why I work so hard to make it count. have a great day and a great week….

  1. I love your HAPPY post! I was smiling all the way through! Your students must be so happy to have you as their teacher. I can just see you in the bus lane with a spring in your step!
    Thanks for bringing this to the party! Have fun clicking on links and introducing yourself!

    1. thanks – my 11 year old daughter was listening to that over and over and it caught.. i forgot one minor detail in the post – it snowed enough for a light dusting that morning and I wasn’t letting the snow get me was a great day! Thank you for the party invite, I always enjoy meeting new people.

  2. In the terribly dry and drought ridden state of Calif, we’d be more than happy to take some of that snow and rain off of your hands. Just ship it all out west here, and shipping COD will be just fine.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I do appreciate it

    1. all of ours, except for a few spots, has melted and drained to the Gulf of Mexico. We’re headed north later today to take in some awesome Midwest skiing and a frozen lake and we’re hoping it drains into the Great Lakes… I lived in the Bay Area for three years in the late 80s and I remember how dry it was compared to where I had lived before – the Houston area – I hope you folks get the rain you need…. thanks for stopping by

  3. Susie sent me! My day is happy today because the sun has finally made an appearance, and the snow is starting to melt. It doesn’t feel much like Spring in Maine yet, but today is helping to push us a little closer. 🙂

    1. keep the streak alive – make it a happy day! kids and dogs always make for a happy day. the dog always greets me at the door when I come home and is always happy to see me… the kids and wife are happy I am home – but just don’t share the enthusiasm! have a great day.

  4. Happy Spring! Now let’s just hope it really shows up! It’s 31 degrees tonight in NYC and maybe snow tomorrow. Getting really sick of winter! Also, I had that stomach bug that went around. Nasty. Not too happy over here!

    1. Hey Phil – bummer about being laid low. When is your event? – it should be coming up soon.. wishing you luck and hoping the weather improves…. we’ve got overcast and cool, but it is far better than snow and bitter cold.

  5. Well, for us this is a real Day One. The first full day back in the UK to re-begin our lives here. After our long and gruelling journey, this is largely a day of rest. It’s all we’re fit for. Tomorrow- home hunting. So different from your time tying up loose ends to finish off your third quarter in style. Bet you need a rest too!

    1. Congratulations on your return! By now I am sure you have looked at many places and had many thoughts run through your head… but I digress… I got caught up in the the end of third quarter hoopla and the beginning of the fourth (and final) marking period. The kids were remarkably focused all week. It’s a grey day with many possibilities – wishing you the best and looking to follow your journeys in England.

Thanks for visiting MtDC. How are YOU Making YOUR Days Count?