Morning. Fall 2021. #sol21
It’s dark when I go to the car. I’m traveling light today, just my coffee carafe, water bottle, my handbag filled with my two ever-present coaching notebook and work journal along with a warm bagel slathered with some peanut butter wrapped in a cloth napkin. It’s dark in the yard, dark in the garage, dark on the driveway and dark on the street.
As I turn the car on, it begins where I left off in my audio book. I smile as Stanley Tucci’s voice fills my car and he continues his story recounting a conversation between his grandparents and his parents, while sharing a recipe and description of their home. It’s soothing, his voice and the recounted story. I don’t know if it’s because we are approximately the same age or because I can picture him speaking having just watched his CNN documentary on Italy, but his voice makes me smile and I find myself relaxing into being read to on this dark journey to a busy day.
I experiment wildly about how to assist myself with the entry (and subsequent exit to each day). I often leave the house very early, arriving at school at least an hour prior to my first appointment. Today, I’m writing, but other days I might straighten, plan, read, or research in the quiet hum of the literacy center surrounded by books and soft light. On the drive, I listen to a podcast either about books, literacy, teaching, or cooking most days. Rarely, I listen to music. Sometimes, NPR. And this week, I’ve been experimenting with audiobooks.
I had an insane amount of credits on my audible account and since I seem incapable of reading after I get everything settled at night, I thought I might listen to a book. I have some in my ‘library’, but downloaded a literacy book I have had on my shelf and on a whim, this book, Taste by Stanley Tucci. I tried the literacy book, artfully read by its author, however I found that on my drive home anyway, I was too distracted by stray thoughts the book invoked to stay abreast with the narrative. Stanley Tucci’s voice however, slides over me like a weighted blanket and I am able to relax and enjoy. No deep thoughts needed. It’s also a book that I can share snippets with my husband as I cook dinner and he leans against the counter asking questions and nodding as I cook and talk.
Ironically, the literacy book caused me to download these audiobooks as the author recounted how the students (our) cognitive load is reduced when we don’t have to do the reading. We can just think about the book.
Back to my journey. I pull into the parking lot at school, still dark. The only other car belonging to our custodian sits in its usual spot highlighted by the neighboring light. I finish this ‘paragraph’ in the audiobook, commenting aloud at how much I enjoy listening to this, sigh, gather my things and make my way into the building.
I pass the custodian’s office at the back of the school. The door is closed and I continue down the main hall. Several feet down the corridor, I hear good morning in his baritone, questioning who might be here at this hour. I turn and he smiles at me, repeating good morning. Were you wondering who was here this early? I ask. He smiles. It’s your school, he says. I smile back.
I’ll keep it to myself for a little while this morning. Gentle lights. Soft humms. Clicking keys. A calm start to a busy day.