Here's what I'm sharing with my department. Wanted to share with you, too. Would love to hear about your experience, as well.
I must admit, I was way more excited than I thought I'd be. Being outside the band of totality, I was surprisingly moved. When I finally let go of all the anticipation and allowed myself to absorb the experience, I couldn't help but dance and stare and hug and sing...and wonder...
After a while, serenity set in and my amazement amplified. A calculated shadow gently blanketed our country, one location at a time, carefree and careless of the ongoings of our sometimes empathetic and sometimes shameful behavior, highlighting the magnificence and beauty of the universe. And I was part of it. I was in that shadow. There's a reason why this celestial event is referenced repeatedly over the centuries in history, in science, in literature, in the arts. I believe insightful authors and artists knew that future generations would experience the same event, but with new context. There's faith, even desperation in that wisdom. What do you hope will be cradled in the next eclipse's shadow? And how will you contribute to that vision?
In a way, this is what we've chosen to do for a living. We hope that our students will be able to navigate their life experiences with a deeper understanding of their surroundings. And of themselves. And contribute to their world in a way that makes it better than the way they found it. We use our classrooms as an opportunity to practice and investigate those possibilities. That may seem far-fetched, exaggerated, but I truly believe each teacher does that, in big and small ways, every day. For that, I'm grateful, and in awe. The Great American Eclipse 2017 is committed to my memory, and hopefully yours. Here's hoping the next shadow captures a greater version of ourselves—individually and societally—than who we modeled this time around.