Stress, really? Yes.

Day after day, one of my eighth-graders walks into my room near tears.

“I can’t take it,” she’ll say. “I can’t do this anymore.”

What she is referring to is life–studying, playing sports, pleasing the parents, getting along with friends. You name it, there’s stress involved. Though I have noticed the change, I haven’t been able to determine the cause.

But Georgetown University, who is sponsoring sessions in meditating for its students, has a take on it:

“These students have been conditioned since kindergarten to evaluate their performance. Anything they do, they’re comparing to their friends and even competing with their friends,” Svoboda said. “When you come in here, you don’t have to do that.”

Read more here.

Image: ‘Raindrops on calm water’

The Fire

fireThis morning, I watched a friend run a local half-marathon in the cold, pouring rain, and then drove her back here for a hot shower before heading over to Amy’s for a stack of pancakes.

She took off for Bethesda, and I’ve spent nearly the entire day sitting on the couch in front of the fire. Lovely.

At one point, I fell asleep with Beau curled up next to me. David had a Hall and Oates concert playing on the TV, and I awoke to songs that brought back memories from years right after college. Driving around Boston. Working in Maryland. Finding my way to Virginia.

I read a few more pages of The Fiction Class by Susan Green and then made ginger sugar cookies.

I love when I’ve planned my grading so well, I get a free weekend to relax, think, read, and rest. Tomorrow exam week starts, and for the first time in in a long while, I’m looking forward to seeing what my kids do with their essays.  I have a feeling some sparks of brilliance will emerge.

Today,though, the fire helped tend my soul.

Image: Original image: ‘Fuoco!‘