Lyrical Lessons

louBy Jenn Hayhurst, and Jill DeRosa


Hello summah! We are heading south across the Ocean Beach Causeway towards the Jones Beach Amphitheater to see a classic double bill,   Bonnie Raitt and  James Taylor  Friends at our side, sunshine overhead, and carefree hearts. Life is good.

Our seats are way, way up. We peer down as James takes us back to his roots Carolina In My Mind and the crowd roars joyfully. Like a silver tear, the full moon streams across rippling waters.  This was the plan, fun, and nothing but fun. We all sing and sway and smile because this is why we came. Life is good!

James shows us mountains, lightning, and thunder through his song,  Montana.  Then I see it, a behemoth. A billowing black rain cloud, black as smoke rolling in from the east. I think, “It’ll be alright there is plenty of clear skies.”  But don’t we always know the truth? Disorienting disequilibrium signals things are about to change. Life is… good?

“You can play the game, you can act out the part. Though you know it wasn’t written for you.”  It is misting heavily (Shower the People).  The people, are beginning to leave. Their eyes downcast looking at the concrete steps leading out and away. Something inside me makes me look up. A heavy inky black sky menacing.  BAM! A torrent of rain streams down from the heavens, just as Arnold Rufus McCulle sings, “Let it RAIN.” Is he smiling?  Yes, a playful boyish smile, there for all to see.  I smile back, and shout “I own the rain!” Jumping up, I begin to dance and clap along. Water sputters and sprays with every beat. LIFE IS GOOD!

This moment reinforces our beliefs as teachers. Make a plan but never forget that control is an illusion. Teach in the moment that life hands you. Sometimes the best work can come out of the “surprises”  that surely wait for each of us. When you step into the classroom, you are stepping into the life of each student; and they are stepping into yours.

“Shower the people you love with love. Show them the way that you feel. Things are going to be just fine if you only will.”  – James Taylor



















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