Darkest day of the year

I loved this essay: How We Survive Winter

“I have spent some long, scary nights waiting for the sun to come up. There have also been some long, barren seasons when I feared the sap would never rise again,” Barbara Brown Taylor, an author and Episcopal priest, reflected. “The hardest thing is to keep trusting the cycle, to keep trusting that the balance will shift again even when I can’t imagine how. So far it has.”

“The most important thing is to hold that tiny spark of life, if it is in a bud, in a seed, that is our work, to hold on to life, so when spring comes back, there can be growth. If you fail at that, spring doesn’t matter,” she said. “That seems like a Covid teaching to me.” (Robin Wall Kimmerer)

Reminded me of this passage, which is on my stick:

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Many versions here.

Addition to best Teacher Anxiety Dream

More anxiety dreams. This time it was a back-to-school night in a building I didn’t recognize and Marcus Foster’s dad was here to see me and I didn’t teach a Marcus Foster but I wasn’t sure that I didn’t teach a Marcus Foster so I was walking with this officious Dad (think short, white, obnoxious, glasses, he reminded me of a dentist, didn’t recognize him)  racking my brain trying to figure out if his son was one of my students and he didn’t have a mask on and neither did I because I had a pen in my mouth and then I took the pen out and couldn’t find my mask and we were walking through crowds of parents and they didn’t have masks on either.  We got to my room — old room 113 at West Philly High but somehow now within a downtown office building — and I woke up.   

(Note: Marcus Foster had been principal at Gratz (where I student taught) and then became the superintendent of Oakland Schools.  Sad coda: he was a victim of SLA, no, not that SLA, the Symbionese Liberation Army. Why that  name bubbled up in my subconscious, I don’t know.)   

Great headline

White clicktivism: why are some Americans woke online but not in real life? And a solid article as well.

I’m trying to think whether I might use this in English — alongside Ta-Nehisi Coates — or whether I want to use it in history.


“Following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, many white Americans have spent the past year taking part in a social justice movement online and on the ground, combating systemic racism and opposing police brutality. Bookstores sold out of race education books, social media timelines were consumed with Black Lives Matter support, and protests drew diverse crowds.

But then we saw the election results. Trump won the support of 71 million Americans this year – including 55% of white women and 61% of white men. Even in liberal hotbeds like New York, California and Washington, Trump maintained 48%, 47%, and 36% of the white vote.”