When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, "What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?"
"They are the days of a long time ago, Laura," Pa said. "Go to sleep, now."
But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa's fiddle playing softly and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods. She looked at Pa sitting on the bench by the hearth, the firelight gleaming on the honey-brown fiddle. She looked at Ma, gently rocking and knitting.
She thought to herself, "This is now."
She was glad that the cozy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.
My new year's resolutions as an educator are these:
1) to respect my students' tender minds, their easily wounded hearts, their efforts and their challenges;
2) to challenge myself to think beyond, to get creative, to stoke the fires that will burn tiny fires under the butts of each and every one of my 400+ students;
3) to reflect constructively on my teaching successes and failures and accept them gracefully as learning experiences;
4) to breathe deeply, speak smoothly, and enjoy the ride.
Happy 2008, everyone!