Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Silent Spaces

When I was a teacher, I somehow felt that my lesson plan book needed to be a work of art. I diligently planned for each hour of the day in its appropriate little block. I liked to lean back in my seat and gaze with self satisfaction at the page of blocks, all neatly organized and tidy. For some oddball reason, though, it would bother me to no end to have an empty square staring back at me corresponding to those blocks when my class was secured away in enrichment classes. It just seemed to scream, “Shirker! Shirker!” Simply scrawling the words “music” or “PE” did not suffice. So I found myself actually decorating those little offending blocks in a lame attempt to assuage those oddball sensibilities. I would doodle a little G clef, or a little music staff, or little quarter notes all around the notation that the kids were in music….or sketch a little baseball or soccer ball ~ complete, of course, with corresponding dashes of motion to show it shwooosing and loopity- looping around the words “physical education”. (Because “PE” would take up far too little space in my planning block…) It’s funny now, when I think about it, but really… what a colossal waste of my time. Oh sure, it made me feel good, but was it really necessary to fill every space?

It’s really so much like me… I still feel the need to decorate the moment with superfluous verbal doodling rather than allow it to sit, filled with conspicuous silence.

Just this morning, staring at this blog, I felt that old familiar feeling. I know that if I’m not careful, I’ll decorate the empty spaces with electronic loopity loops and quarter notes so that I don’t look, in my oddball brain, like some kind of a blog shirker.

And the purpose of this whole experiment is to teach the left side of my brain that sometimes, less is more… and that I don’t HAVE to fill those silent spaces with my verbal meanderings. Considering the fact that I just fired off 364 words to fill an empty silence, I think I need to tweak the plan.  I will consider it a baby step that I didn’t take a picture to decorate this post…

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