Saturday, January 19, 2008


I’ve been invigilating final exams at the high school this past week, and have come to a realization that these students are standing at the threshold of adulthood. That unknown, inexplicable burden of growing up is both a cause for celebration and a reason for reflection. Sometimes, I look at my students and just want to grip them by their shoulders, give them a decisive shake or two, and tell them to grow up. However, I also realize that there is something incredibly precious about those carefree, uncensored moments of pure silliness and irrationality, albeit that those moments don’t usually fit into my lessons.

Occasionally, I witness my students being cruel to each other in their covert, subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) ways. I remind myself that it is not necessarily childish, immature behaviour that they are displaying; rather, they are acting out from being jaded by experience, and they’re coping the only way they know how, by lashing out.

Back to the exam room: The students are all concentrating intently, their heads down, their pencils occasionally tapping the desks as the gears within their minds turn and turn. Outside, in the open field adjacent to the school, a machine is drilling into the ground, testing it and preparing the site for future construction. The whir is anything but soothing; it grates on my mind and twists my face into a frown. Meanwhile, none of the students complain – they just write on, seemingly deaf to the noise. Halfway through, one student looks around him, turns to his neighbour, flashes a smile. Alarm bells go off in my head: What is going on here? Are they communicating with each other? I watch them like a hawk. Then, the student raises his fists, and pounds them in midair, as though he is holding imaginary drumsticks. He puts his whole body into it, head bopping to the drone of the drill outside. This goes on for maybe ten seconds. Most of the other students write on, never even noticing this small irregularity. A few turn to watch him, and they smile. I, too, crack a smile, silencing the grown-up voice in my head that tells me to go over there and tell him to stop goofing off. Those ten brief seconds of unadulterated youthfulness made the noise more bearable, and the day more beautiful.

Now for a complete change of subject – here are photos taken of my darling kitty in her “human” pose:

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Vivacemusica, how I absolutely LOVED reading about this one soul hearing music in the noise and giving silent expression to it. Wow! It reminds me that we all have the power to be wild and free, no matter what our circumstances ~ he reminds me of the free runners/traceurs flying through the crowded cityscapes.

    Thank you so much for sharing it with such a clear, beautiful observation ~ I am blessed for having found it through your visit to my porch!