“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no trouble, noise, or hard work.It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
- Lady Gaga
Earlier in the month, I wrote about music. Sure enough, the first thing I did when I got to my office this morning was turn on music. If you’re curious, I’m listening to Brian Crain, which I find to be perfect morning music.
While the rest of my family works and schools from home, I often need to come to campus. There are office kinds of tasks that need to be completed (e.g. signatures, contracts, and the like). Also, with three kids at home doing distance learning and my wife distance teaching, there is a dearth of space and Wi-Fi bandwidth with which to work.
Sitting in my office, I can hear birds chirping and I have music playing, but I miss the noise of school. When my space was in the Elementary School office, there was constant noise. Students, staff, and parents would walk in unannounced and talk about this or that; students and full classes would walk (and occasionally run) down the halls--it is impressive how loud twenty kids who are all talking quietly can be; and there were two kindergarten classes and a pre-kindergarten class just outside my door. In the Director’s office, it is quieter to be certain. However, at this point of the day I would normally hear students, parents, and staff arriving at school ready for the day ahead. As the day would progress, the noise would increase: high school students walking to and from the Rila Centre (a soft din), middle school students having lunch outside (really loud), elementary school students getting ready for After School Activities (deafening). I miss the noise.
Whenever I needed more noise or just a break from my office, I could walk around and talk with any of the 700 plus students, parents, and staff who are typically on campus during a school day. This was also a great time to check in, see how people were doing, answer questions, and get feedback on how things were going. I miss that too.
Like many things in the situation, missing the sounds of school makes me realize how much I take for granted during the regular day. If there’s something positive to come out of all of this, and I believe there will be, it’s that perhaps we can all find more joy in the simple moments of awareness of things as mundane as noisy halls.
“Ah, good conversation--there’s nothing like it, is there? The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.”
- Edith Wharton