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Showing posts from June, 2006

A Conversation About Silence

On Saturday, Peter and I went to our friends Kevin and Beth's house for a potluck and schmooze. While there, we finally got to meet R. and C., two new neighbors of theirs they'd been telling us about for weeks--Quakers from the midwest who had recently moved to the valley. It was really terrific getting a chance to get to know them. It turns out that they have been having difficulty settling in to either of the two local meetings, perhaps because they so loved the meeting they used to attend which apparently had a really great kids' program. Now, I think of the first day school at Mt. Toby as one of it's strengths, but then, I'm comparing it against Pagan groups I've known, who are lucky to acheive a critical mass of kids at any gathering, or to have any meaningful programming at all. (I'm not putting down the Pagan world, here, just noting that, as a relatively new religious movement, it's something we're still struggling with.) In any case, t

The "W" Word

"Ms. Bishop, are you a Witch?" Picture it--I'm about to give a reading quiz to a group of less-than-prepared high school students. They, of course, are thinking that a diversion would be sweet right about now. And one of them has just the thing. Turns out, he's done the inevitable, and Googled my name. "Ms. Bishop, are you? Are you a Witch? Are you a _practicing_ Witch?" So there I am, clock ticking, a stack of quizzes in my hand, and for once all student eyes are on me. And about 50,000 things are going through my head at once, including: - The urgent question, what does this kid think the word, "Witch" means? - The urgent question, what do all the other kids in this classroom, and every member of their extended families, think the word "Witch" means? - The comic comeback, "Nope, I stopped practicing and now I'm the real thing." - The importance of the separation of church and state. - The reasonably large population of


It's amazing how, no matter how many of my wishes in life are granted, I am able to see a bad day as unfair... Odd how the down days feel like personal wrongs, but the good stuff gets accepted as only my due... (Wry smile.) Meanwhile, it's hot, and the classroom where I teach 9th grade English is hotter, and is incredibly loud with the sound of ventilators directly outside the windows... which encourages students to be loud, too, as does the fact that the school year is ending and, well, if possible, they want to be here less than I do. I love my job. I did the "happy dance" when I got it two years ago. I love my co-workers, I have a mentor who not only thinks I can teach, but has the insight and experience to understand teaching--it's not empty praise when it comes from that quarter, and that has been incredibly helpful. More than that--I've finished my prep for the day, I think I have a reasonbly good handle on what I'm teaching for the next week and t