Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Silence and I have a funny relationship.

On one hand, there are times where I crave silence, especially when I'm trying to teach my critters something. You see, my students like to talk. The problem is, they haven't the foggiest as to what they're talking about. To listen to them speak is an exercise in attempting to decode gibberish. What they need is to be silent so they can listen and actually learn something for a change. Once they know something, then I can let them talk to their heart's content. I keep on telling them that I would let them talk and discuss things freely, but I won't let them until what comes out of their mouth is something worth talking about. They may not like it, but the normal middle school drama is not worth talking about.

I was observed in my lowest class yesterday, where I have six students who deliberately come into my class looking to disrupt proceedings. Considering there were a gaggle of administrators in the classroom, everyone was on their best behaviour. The class went fantastically, and at the end of class I let them talk to their neighbour about what they learned in class. The class was full of noise, but it was the good kind of noise--the noise of learning. Today, with no one but me trying to teach them, normal service was resumed. One of the students commented that they had more fun talking about the lesson yesterday than all of the nonsense that took place today. I just looked at them and said that sometimes, silence is a good thing, since that was what was needed for them to learn what they talked about.

That's all warm and fuzzy, I know, but as much as I like silence at times in my classroom, there are other times in which I completely loathe it. For example, any time in which I am not in my classroom. And lately, it's getting worse. I live alone in a very small house. It's rather quaint, and to be honest, it suits me just fine. If I had my way, I wouldn't even half a fourth of the furniture that I own, but my family says I need something other than a milk crate for guests to sit on, so I have some to appease their complaining (even though they're the only ones to ever visit me).

But in the past six to seven weeks, I've found myself spending a lot of my evenings with silence as my only companion. I sit at my desk in my comfy old desk chair, and stare at nothing in general listening to the silence. One night I know I spent over an hour sitting there, with just the computer screen providing ambient light, contemplating whether the silence says a lot about my life or not. In the end, I came to the conclusion that it does. To me, it's a rather interesting symbol of my personal life at the moment... which means that there is none.

Since the beginning of the year, I've had to struggle with a lot of things in my personal life, not to mention a crisis that really kicked me in the stomach about a month ago. In that time, I've pretty much seen the things I previously enjoyed in life just completely fall apart and become nothing to me. Saturday evening I just sat in my chair, and contemplated the fact that my life feels like it is turning into a rice cake--completely bland and tasteless. No matter what I've tried to ameliorate it, it just hasn't worked out. I feel a lot like Don Draper in the opening credits to the AMC series Mad Men...without alcohol or cigarettes, of course.

 I find this to be a rather perfect visual of what I've just described. I come home from work, everything falls apart, and I drift on down to a place where I'm just staring off into space wondering what's happened. The worst part of this is perhaps how I feel. I'm not terribly depressed or anything, just monotonous. Bland. Boring. You get the idea. I've tried to break out of it by trying things that I thought would interest me, but never tried before, but that didn't work. I even took the advice of a good friend and simply told some acquaintences that I was in a bit of a rut and wanted to hang out with them to get me out of it. Their response left me sitting in my house Saturday night contemplating my relationship to the Styrofoam of the culinary world. I don't want to give up, but geez, what else do I need to try to get someone to do something with, or God forbid, a date? That's something I just can't answer at the moment--and no one's really helping me to answer either.

So I sit here at my PC, listening, and hoping that I might hear and learn something that will get my life back to the noise I'm craving to hear.
Until next time.

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