This is the way I live now, independent and with trust that all is well and the highest good for all involved will unfold. The pace of my life is still busy often but not frantic as it was and I have more time for life in its fullest. I am learning how to pace my income and outgo to get me through the times with no work and it is remarkable that it has worked.
Tomorrow I finish my current residency with 6th graders and a teacher I love working with so I can spend 2 nights in my home and head out of town again to another school in a different part of the state. I have to say goodbye to about 75 students who have given me their trust and respect. They have also truly engaged in the creative process that I have invited them to share with me. This has been a great experience for us all.
I have seen children who never apply themselves in class produce poems they are proud of, stay focused, and complete tasks. I have seen a student offer to partner with a student with seeming cognitive challenges during a peer review session and not receive input herself, just to be a good classmate. I have witnessed young men who rarely share their emotions write of the death of their beloved grandparents, their favorite pets, the challenge of their own chemotherapy in facing cancer. I have watched as young ladies who have been witnesses to domestic violence speak openly in verse and somehow strengthen themselves in the process.
These students have been patiently investigating a single poem by Nikki Giovanni with me for 3 days, unfolding meaning for themselves and learning new skills. They have learned how the brain will interpret language in a completely different way just because a series of line breaks have shifted a sentence into smaller phrases, making way for breath.
And they have laughed with me as well as at me, which was always the appropriate response. I will leave them tomorrow and we will all be sad for the parting. But I trust that I leave behind something of value and they have all given me treasures I will hoard for those days when I think I haven't accomplished a thing. Thanks to my host teacher for the amazing educator she is and for inviting me to gain so much from her students. I am honored, grateful, and blessed beyond all comprehension. This is my life and livelihood. Imagine that!