An Old Time (Sic) Blog Post
I wrote here about an insightful video on stress. I never know what to write or where to write it. I'm not sure how or why this blog started and/or why I keep it up. It's interesting to me how quickly the personal blog, along with the simple cell phone, became old.
A few years ago my dad (HSLABW) shared a stack of letters with me from his army era years. It was a different time. People wrote letters. These backs and forths between friends were filled with thoughts and words that were simmered on the stovetop, not nuked in the microwave. There were jokes, and updates, questions and answers. There were words that were carefully strung together by real people in real time.
Which brings to mind a poem that I shared with consolers, during Shiva, sitting in the basement of the house i grew up in. A former student from my school, a brilliant young man, who was never in my class but was my student, went home and looked for this poem online. He found it, on my blog, several times. That's it.
This is from a time when science teachers wrote poems about circumventing luxury, being respectable. listening openly, being true and brave to G-d, man, and country, and of jewels in the crowns of one's life's work. Sigh.
If I in my daily contact
....... Of school days spent with you
Have taught you
.......To live content with small means,
To seek elegance rather than luxury,
.......Refinement rather than fashion,
To be most worthy and respectable,
.......To study hard, talk gently and act
To listen with open mind and heart
.......And grow up to be all that you should:
Cheerful, brave, and true
.......To G-d, home, and country;
Then I shall have completed
.......The setting of another tiny jewel, with
Into the crown of my life work.
FRANCES G.V. KENNY
I write this at the start of a day and the end, not the very end, the hard part of the end, of a school year. The thing with the school year is that at the start it's hard, then the middle part is hard, and then at the end of the year- yeah, it's a hard part of it. (Not to mention in too much detail that this has been a particularly stressful and also meaningful year for me an the personal/familial front.) Teaching and counseling are challenging, and fulfilling, meaningful, spiritual, rich, and great. I thank G-d for well over 20 years in a wonderful field and I look forward to more. I am grateful for the improv and poetry clubs I run, for the Torah and regular guidance I do, for the teaching of a variety of Limudei Kodesh classes and of a class in the English department, for the Mishmar class, the vaad class, for everything.
Please G-d, bless me and everyone with rich lives of continued health and continued growth in this world (it's been said that not only do we each have a share in the world to come, but also in this world), stress and all.
Have a good day, and may G-d bless.