from a public HS teacher (Gov't, Religion, Soc. Issues), who is eclectic (Dem-leaning) politically and Quaker (& open) on everything else. Hope you enjoy what you find here.

Monday, March 27, 2006

It's another wonderful day 

I do not mean that sarcastically, or even sardonically. Truly, it is a wonderful day. This morning I took yet another brisk walk (and until I drop at least 10 pounds it will be walking and not running to spare my knees). The vernal signals surround me. Each morning there is a bit more light. The number of birds increases and the species are more varied. I can see yellow of daffodils everywhere, and splashes of color from other early spring flowers. And because it is a Monday, and this is still the school year, I will shortly head off to see my students. That always makes for a wonderful day.

I often present my worries when I post. They may be about my effectiveness as a teacher, or what is happening to our schools. I may ponder whether I can honestly keep teaching government, or whether our sense of democracy may already be lost. Today I want to offer another, perhaps somewhat more sanguine, point of view. It will be brief. And I will acknowledge an external inspiration.

This year I put no money down on my brackets. But I can this morning see that two of my final four teams are still alive, LSU and George Mason. And it is the latter that is the occasion of my cheerfulness. They were my longest of long shots,but having seen them play once twice year I realized how good a defensive team they were, and how much they enjoyed playing the game, even when they lost. It is not just Lamar Butler’s irrepressible smile, one that I used to hate when he was so productive at Oxon Hill as they were our fiercest competition in Prince George’s 4A basketball. It was their willingness to make the extra pass, to throw their sometimes undersized bodies into the melee under the boards to get that extra rebound. Even should they lose next weekend (and I actually think they match up better against Florida than they did against Villanova), that will not in any way diminish what they have accomplished, or the joy they will feel.

Often a glance at various blogs could lead a progressive to believe that we are all dyspepsic, that we can find the one bad grape in a luscious bunch. There is much about which we can be concerned, we are vocal in expressing it. I acknowledge that I have oft been one who contributes to that ambiance. But life is not merely a catalog of disasters and failures. It also contains triumphs, however small they may be. And it provides us with many moments of inspiration.

The three remaining CPT hostages were released. That is an occasion of more than relief, perhaps even of joy that they are alive and well. We learn from them that Tom Fox was the one who helped keep their spirits up until he was taken apart from them. For those of us who knew Tom it was a confirmation of our hope that he would maintain his own sense of balance and peacefulness throughout his captivity.

Markos and Jerome have begun their book tour. I will see them twice today, at Politics and Prose and ad GWU. Having finally completed CTG I see in their writing something positive - even while admitting the well-deserved criticism of Democratic politics as it has been they inform us of some of the positive things that have been happening around the country, in Colorado, in Montana, at local levels.

This morning the five cats were playful. They remind me that life can be approached not as something scary and threatening, but at times as a wonderful place still to be explored and discovered, with the possibilities endless. That is something I also experience when I encounter many of my students - their sheer delight in living. It is infectious, it is inspiring, it keeps me going when I think I am not making a difference.

There is much in our world that requires remediation, even outright change. But that would

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