Let’s Have Coffee and Talk Ideas (inspired by Steven Johnson’s “Where Good Ideas Come From”)

I haven’t written in a while. Sometimes, life is all about getting to work, driving to soccer practice, grading papers, planning lessons, and chopping veggies for something we might call dinner. Sometimes, the doing shoves the word-making, idea-exploring off to the side. And then you have a Saturday morning, where you wake up at 5:00 AM anyway, grab your coffee, and relax in the quiet of not doing. Suddenly you remember the blog.  THE BLOG. It was a commitment I made to myself this past summer.  For a while, I was writing daily — another promise. And then there were dishes in the sink and a kid to move to college. Promises broken.

But when the promise you broke was made to yourself, well . . . a simple apology won’t do. You’ve got to get back to it.

So here it is for today.

It’s been almost a week since we left our daughter on her college campus and traveled home to a quieter house. While I’ve read about parents who are distracted by a sense of loss, my experience has been one of amazement and optimism. She calls or texts, excited about a class or a new friend or about her lost phone. She is dealing with all of it. I am more observer than active participant now.  After 18 years, the earth beneath my feet has shifted.  That’s not a bad thing — I’m just regaining my footing, adjusting to a new pattern, a new way of parenting.

But for those of you who still have kids at home, it’s a strange adjustment, isn’t it? I still have my almost 16-year old at home, who does the teenage thing so differently than my first-born . . . so I’m learning anew.  The map we drew with our first-born just won’t help us parent our second. How bizarre is that?

Then there’s work. I teach middle school and each year is a new start. A fresh canvas.  This year, I have new colleagues, too, and there is joy in getting to know each other — in learning from each other. There is excitement in building a new team and pooling our creative brains.

I was thinking about the creative force that our new team is harnessing — and then I saw this:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NugRZGDbPFU

As I watched, I realized that THIS is why I started this blog. As much as it was a place to explore ideas . . . I hoped it would be a place to connect with others, to build a virtual coffee shop where we’d swap and trade nuggets of imagination and wonder. That is happening with my colleagues; I’d like to find a way to have it happen here.

So — if you are a teacher, a parent, a writer . . . pull up a chair.  Let’s chat! What are you thinking about?




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