Sunday, April 29, 2007


There are only nine more work weeks before my summer holidays begin. This school year has flown by so amazingly quickly. Yes, some days have been tougher than others, but in general, it has been a most excellent year. I've realized that there are some things that I cling to during those particularly trying moments, some things that anchor me when I feel lost at sea.

On my classroom walls, there are various inspirational posters, students' artwork and projects, information on the functions of the different parts of speech, and an editing checklist that I keep hoping my students would glance at before hurling their papers at me. But the one thing that I think “anchors” my students is the world map on the wall behind my desk. Sometimes, students would come up to talk to me and pore over the map. I'm not a geography teacher, and have never really had the opportunity to point to the map during a class lesson. However, the best conversations I've had with my students have undoubtedly involved running our fingers all over the map, pointing out various places of interest. We would talk about our future travels. Their dreams are sometimes so far-fetched, so hopeful, so innocent, that they are the most beautiful, precious gems to hold onto. And, their dreams make me want to dream too. Some people say it's important to anchor ourselves to reality. For my students, I wish for them to always anchor themselves to dreams, to hope.

I cling on to other things too, thoughts that are wispy as the wind, but as essential to me as oxygen. When my sweetie isn't here with me, and I don't know how long it might be before we would see each other again, I would remember watching him sleep. I remember trying to synchronize my breathing to his, only to discover that his breaths were so much more rapid than mine. His breathing pattern reminded me of a child's, and I thought of him as a vulnerable little bird lying in someone's palm, heart fluttering, eyes closed, breaths small and shallow. And in my mind, I would become the person holding that tiny bird, stroking its feathers, loving it, protecting it against the world. For the most part, my boyfriend has been the one to protect me and keep me safe and secure, mostly from my own doubts. But, in the moments of slumber, I would marvel at his fragility, and know that I would do anything to keep him safe. That's the feeling I hang onto, even as I'm driving myself insane missing his presence.

I'm wearing the beaded slippers that my boyfriend gave me two months ago. As winter insists on giving us one final blast before bidding farewell, the slippers have been warming my feet and my heart. I cling onto them too, the idea of them, as though they are proof that things are good between us. They keep me from drowning in fear and loneliness. They are akin to a nugget of truth that exists in a wild sea of change, something that is immobile through the waves of time. And so, I hang on, knowing that as long as I wear my slippers, I will see my sweetie again, and soon.


  1. Yes, hang on, nine weeks will pass by quickly. Your students are so lucky. I know you don't need me to tell you that. Your boyfriend is also lucky. You obviously care deeply for him.

  2. Where have you been this month of May? Your blog anchors me!