Lately, it seems I have been very good at coming up with diversions. Errands, movies, games, practices; and on the surface, they appear legitimate, but really, they are distracting. O and I have been distracting ourselves quite well, lately. Honestly, I think we are both nervous about the coming year. She is headed off to 6th grade in three days and I am headed to 8th grade science. Saturday, I took her to O’Hare to watch airplanes land and takeoff after getting her new eyeglasses, and we did it again yesterday after the softball game. Granted, O’Hare was close, but there were so many more important things we could have been doing, but we were distracting ourselves from what’s important.
1999 was my first year of teaching. I was in 6th grade and I lasted a year at the grade level before my promotion to 7th grade. I’ve been there ever since. It’s change that’s the unknown. It’s not being completely comfortable with what is coming at you. It’s doing something for the first time. It’s almost like a silhouette, something that’s a mere shadow in the light. You have an idea of what it might be, but you’re not entirely certain until it’s upon you.
Plane spotting or plane watching is comforting.
I remember living in Paris and taking the bus to Orly Airport to watch planes take off and land when we lived in Paris in 1966. I was four years old and I could watch airplanes take off and land for hours, or at least that is how my mom tells the story. My two brothers are younger – a mere 17 months separates the three of us. It must’ve been a handful for my mom in 1966 – living in France, not speaking the language, and having three boys – all under the age of five. To this day, I do not know how she did it.
In the spring of 2000, when W was two we planned a trip home to Houston and I remember taking him to the airport to watch airplanes to let him see the airport and airplanes. We had fun and it was comforting for the two of us. Then O came along a couple of years later, we’d watch planes at the airport or when they passed over us, but I don’t know why but we had never gone to the airport to watch planes before Saturday.
Memory is a funny thing. Experiences and the memories we make from them are what makes us who we are. Memory is the subject of the The Giver by Lois Lowry. She wrote the book when her father was suffering from dementia late in life and she was wondering about ways to preserve memories and his memories, which would be lost forever with his passing. I’ve read The Giver and used it with my class the past five years; this year I’ll be teaching a new content area and I’m worried about my memory – what I remember about science – chemistry and physics, but that’s another story. I’ve written about teaching the book several times before, it’s a thought provoking book – perhaps the first a young adolescent reads. O and I went saw the movie Friday afternoon after she had decorated her locker. It was a diversion, I wanted to see the movie and I wanted to avoid thinking about important things for a while. We’ve had a lot to think about this year. B’s dad, my father-in-law, passed away this summer, not quite two months ago. Her sister passed away in April and we’ve lost their family memories and stories forever.
It’s early Monday morning and I have a full day ahead. We have three days before school starts and O and I are going to my school and classroom this morning. She will be helping me set up parts of my classroom and I am going to think about what goes where and what goes out the door, forever. I’ve acquired a lot of stuff over the years teaching geography and ELA and some of it has to go. We have a busy day planned – appointments, practices, and jobs – lots of jobs. W has football practice morning and evening; and B and Ivy are just biding their time until they get their home back Thursday morning. It’s going to be a great day; I know it and I can feel it. Carpe Diem – seize the day. So, I’d better get a move on and seize Monday before it seizes me. Making the days Count, one day at a time, one memory made, one memory recalled, one diversion at a time.
What’s diverted you lately? What’s kept from important jobs or tasks? Or have you been able to keep focused? Please tell.
Today’s post is in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge – prompt – at Word Press. The week’s prompt is “Silhouette.” This week, share a photo with a silhouette. Revisit Wenjie Zhang’s post on the quality of light for quick tips on backlight, or dive into silhouette tutorials by Digital Photography School and PetaPixel for more guidance.
We’d love to see you experiment with your positioning, POV, and the time of day of shooting. Have fun!