The sun is shining beautifully in my window this afternoon as I sit and write. I love winter days like this, clear and cool, not brutally cold. With just enough deceptive sunshine to make you believe that February will, in fact, give way to Spring and possibly sooner than one hopes.
Had the day off classes today in honor of President's day - one week early, so as to give the kids a midwinter breather of 5 days while we go to the METC (Midwest Educational Technology Conference) tomorrow and Wednesday.
So I have had a "breather day" - never a bad thing. Often such days are provided by the weather as snow days, but we have remained virtually snow free this winter. Nemo missed us (mercifully) and now the buds on my forsythia bush are actually starting to swell in the sunshine.
The best thing that happened today was that I discovered my mentor, Hamilton Salsich, is alive and well. Ham is an educator of 45 years who lives up in CT and is still teaching at age 71! He is a brilliant guy who reads widely and thinks deeply about a variety of things that inspire his classroom and life. I have been following his blogs for almost 3 years now, and today I discovered that he hadn't posted about his classroom since last Oct. I immediately became concerned... wondering if in my absence, Hamilton had packed his bags and headed for the heavenly classroom... but he appeared online in response to my brief and somewhat fearful query about him. Seems he's been writing on a different angle than just English and didn't think he should post it on the Ning where I usually read him. I felt relief and then became more thoughtful.
In this crazy digital age we are in, how easy it would be to lose a dear friend and not discover it for quite some time! We are bombarded by emails, status updates, blogs, tweets, and news bytes. It seems like the stream of words, words, and more words is never-ending. And for a moment I felt quite small. Then I realized that Ham's voice was one that sounded clearly to me in all the cacaphony of cyberspace... and THAT made me realize that I need to think more and write more than I have been. The beauty of this thing called the internet, is that our thoughts can have an almost endless shelf-life, if we BOTHER to put them out here. There is something wonderful about that. Something I will need to think a lot more about in the weeks to come.