slivers of sunlight

I am thankful for big, half-blind dogs who greet you with bones and shoes and hugs and hellos. I’ve been a cat person for so long that I forgot how awesome dogs were. This half-blind one put this silly smile on my face and then cuddled with me. Be still my heart! Dogs are the best. 

I am thankful for season five of Shetland. It came out a year ago but Dad bought it yesterday so we are going to get caught up and this season is gooooood. Dad and I tend to binge on t.v. together. Sometimes I’ll binge on a show by myself but most of my binging is done with my Dad. We watch a looooot of dark crime drama, usually from the UK. It’s our thing.  We needed a new show ‘cuz we were getting bored of all our movies downstairs. So this was PERFECT. 

I am thankful for all the schools I’ve subbed at but when I get a chance to go back to Seven Stones, I feel like I’m home. Nothing is ever boring. Something is always happening. Once, I was subbing for them just before the Reading Week. I fill in for their Indigenous Specialist occasionally (I’m not Indigenous but I do love their history and try to incorporate it into my lesson plans). Usually, I’ll have something prepared but that week, the teacher did so I did her plans. The kids in grade five were being stinkers about it and complaining a lot. They tend to get restless easy so I knew I needed to have something to keep them entertained. The problem was I went about it all the wrong way and used the Cree lesson as a punishment. Like, “If you don’t listen or people start fighting during the drama games, we’ll have to go back to Cree.” Which is an awful thing to do. It was disrespectful to the teacher who left her plans for me to follow and it was disrespectful to the Cree people, many of whom are students I teach. I knew I needed to apologize to the kids. So the following day, I followed the teacher’s plan to play Indigenous games but before we began, we were all kinda huddled up by the back. Close to the window that faces the playground. 

“Before we get started, I think I owe you guys an apology,” I say.

 The sun is really bright at that point in the afternoon. Keeping their eyes out of the sun, they shuffle in and out of the slivers of sunlight. Even though they were meandering here and there, they were unusually quiet but still listening. 

“I — When I was here last time, I used our Cree booklets as a kind of punishment and so that if you behaved during drama then we wouldn’t have to do the lesson and I’m sorry. It was inappropriate of me. It’s–  ”

I didn’t know how to explain ‘colonial’ to them and was at a loss for words. They were really quiet at this point. Still shuffling but quiet. 

“Do you know what I mean?”

“We get it, Miss A,” said one boy with a long braid. 

Another boy smiled, the most genuine smile I’ve ever seen him smile (he usually rolls his eyes when he sees me), nodding very energetically and said, “Yeah, yeah. It’s okay.” 

For the rest of class, we played games. And for the first time ever, I felt like we met each other equally. That was definitely the hardest apology I’ve ever had to give but it was the most worthwhile one. Racism is a hard sin to admit. And I imagine, it’s an even harder one to forgive. These kids are far more mature than they are given credit for. 

Anyway, this is all to say, I love Seven Stones. I was there today and it filled my heart. 

I am thankful for my counselor. I’m sure I mentioned this before but in case I haven’t, I started counselling a couple months ago. We’ve been talking about a bunch of things and she’s been helping me understand healthy relationships and friendships. Not in a preachy way. But in an inquisitive, help-you-figure-it-out-for-yourself kind of way. Today, she reminded me of some truths that I forgot. Before I came, I was losing sight of all the work we’d done before then but she got me focused again. I’m so grateful for that. 

I am thankful for my legal assistant course online. I’ve been learning so much. Right now, I’m learning about conveyancing (ie. real estate). There are a couple of plans I have for this thing but need to take it one step at a time (Don’t worry. I haven’t given up teaching [yet]. There’s something I need to do. And no, it doesn’t have to do with Yale).  

Anyway, now I need to do some homework. Talk to you later!