Monday, July 27, 2009

Strange Noises

When I moved in to my new place a week ago, my friend Jeremy asked me if there were any weird noises that I had to adjust to. I went to bed on that first night feeling pretty good and pretty lucky because things were blissfully silent. In fact, our walls and floors are cement so I have yet to have a problem with pipes, neighbors, miscellaneous squeaks, etc. That is, until tonight. Tonight I am typing as I sit awake at my computer table counting the minutes and listening to the most earth shattering shriek I have ever heard. For tonight, my dear friends, is the the night of the first storm in my new apartment. I live in a back corner apartment in our building complex and apparently the combination of the direction of the wind and the location of our little corner creates a perfect little wind tunnel. Wind finds its way in and upon trying to escape takes on the otherworldly sounds of a strangled horse-like creature.

In any case, I'm wide awake. And the question of acclimating oneself to strange noises got me thinking.

As many of you know, I'm starting a new job this year. I have three weeks before training and four full weeks before my first full day with students. If you are saying that it is WAY TO EARLY to start worrying about teaching then you are awesome and I want to be like you. Unfortunately for myself, I'm a thinker and a planner. And I haven't even been given my teaching manuals yet (and I'm teaching two grades simultaneously) so I'm really starting to panic!

As I think about weird noises, however, it reminds me that every new school year is kind of like my new apartment. You come in, work as hard as you can to put together a nice place for yourself. You adorn the walls and arrange the furniture for aesthetics as well as practicality. But eventually, your students (the strange noises) show up. That's when you have to start to adapt. There are some noises that will startle you and make you jump almost every time you get surprised by them for the rest of the year. There is the idle hum of the refrigerator that will barely receive much notice after a couple days of routine and habit. In any case, you start to make a comfortable place together and adapt to each others quirks, and if you work hard enough, you start to appreciate those noises because they are familiar and they mean that you are in a good place, a safe place, that you are home.


  1. It is NOT way to early to start thinking about school :)

    I like the apartment/classroom analogy. It's easy to get "used to" certain things in your place, like you said, and it's also easy to forget they're there. On the other hand, a broken cabinet door, a drippy faucet, will demand your attention. I suppose I'm reminding myself to also pay mind to the non-attention seekers in my class...

  2. I actually thought about the quiet ones as I was writing this too! That is a great reminder and goal for the new school year. :)