Monday, November 1, 2010

Something that doesn't seem to be important but actually is

Today I'm starting a series of fifteen blogs all about something that I believe in. And, every blog is themed so that I'm not just writing about complete randomness. This is reflective of an ongoing portfolio of work that I'm teaching with my Composition classes this semester. I love this assignment and have secretly been wishing that I could take part in it, but none of my students have asked me to write anything, so I'm going to force the issue here and demand my limelight and flex some creative(r) writing skills that are quite rusty. This assignment is based on an NPR forum titled "This I Believe" that began in the 1950s and has been running again lately. Anyone can submit an essay, and they must be 300-500 words about something that the essayist believes in. So here goes. I'm dipping my toes into this liberal, belief-oriented manner of thinking that I totally dig and want to share in some capacity.

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Sitting here for even one minute (and while watching tv), I came up with a list of several “things” that don’t seem like they should have any meaning but really do. Here’s four of my favorites.

72%. And you can find it in the bottom left drawer of my desk at school (e.g. my “food stash” drawer). 72% dark chocolate. Good. Crunchy. Dark chocolate. 2 squares nibbled during homeroom after lunch is the difference between a productive 24 minutes and a distracted, scrounging for something sweet 24 minutes. Just a few bites of gooood chocolate means that I get stuff done. It’s so worth it.

$25/month. This is my fun money. My petty cash that I can hoard or burn for all that anyone can tell me otherwise. It’s freedom and just enough to make life more interesting without too negatively affecting more important things, like Abby’s education and my retirement. From my perspective, $25 means: a few runs to Starbucks in the morning on the way to school; two candles; a cute ____________; a ticket to watch the new Harry Potter movie; half of a Panini press; good, crunchy, dark chocolate. I really believe in that little bit of luxury to make the work hours worth it. There needs to be a little bit of “me time” to foster a moment to breath—little bits of pseudo-meditation.

Socks. Match the socks to the outfit. Always. It just makes life more put together, lets you be in control. Match the socks to the occasion. Who doesn’t love the feeling of brand new socks when they’re all soft and cushy?? There’s a great scene in Finding Forrester where Sean Connery’s character comments that he always wears his socks inside out and never more than once, that way the seam on the inside doesn’t chafe against the skin and each day is just worth the comfort of new socks. Another reason to wish you were four again—you still get to wear really cool, brightly colored socks with flowers and cartoon characters on them.

Calisto. I create a lot of documents in my gig as a teacher. I’ve kind of become a font snob. (You may or may not know that I’m already a self-proclaimed pen snob.) Depending on the type of document I’m creating, I have a short list of different fonts to fit my needs. Calisto is high up on my list of fab fonts. I just love it. Classic yet quirky, kind of like my cumulative vocab tests. Isn’t it fitting to match your font to what you’re communicating? Another form of unwritten communication, kind of like body language on paper? The font must fit the need. A small part of my day, but a detail worth the effort. Absolutely.

There is worth in small things that are all around us, factoring into our general well-being and humor. And the small things can truly make all the difference. This I believe.

2 comments:

Crystal said...

Amy, A) are you going to pick the best of the 15 and send it to NPR? Do we, the readers of your blog, get to vote on which of the 15 we think you should submit to the contest? B) This week I started knitting my third pair of socks. I have to say it is a little addictive to me and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. C) Have you seen the documentary Helvetica? Chris loved it and I fell asleep. But then he wanted to name the dog Bembo after the type font, but I vetoed that idea, so I guess the movie reaction was predictable.

The Erudite Lit-ite said...

Hmmm...in answer to A: sure!! :-)