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Friday, July 13, 2012

Inspired by the wait

I had to go to my undergraduate university today to get an application for a professional certification program. As I approached the office door shortly past 11:00, after being redirected to the appropriate one 3 times, I saw the sign that proclaimed they would be back at 1:00. I left the building and sat on a bench in the quad I spent so many moments in a hundred years ago.

The wait inspired me to create this lesson. I think I will use it for my Freshmen this coming school year. I hope it inspires you too.

A moment of inspiration - a lesson in imagery

Stop where you are. Sit down. Take a moment to view your surroundings from that perspective. Take a picture of the angle that catches your attention. Write one paragraph describing the sensory experience in that moment.

(Sight) The trees formed a canopy over the quad that reached from one end to the other. Shaded areas looked inviting, almost begging for a picnic lunch to be enjoyed on the soft carpet of lush green grass. The vibrant scarlet, black and white University flag stood out against the deep green background as a symbol of education tucked into the natural landscape. (Smell) The air was clean, untouched by the scents that would soon rise from the grease trucks to blend in a symphony of salt-pepper-ketchup as the students here for summer classes grabbed a quick bite on their way to, or from, their last, or next, class. (Taste) The air carried the tang of summer into my mouth as I inhaled and the taste of the Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub left sweet remnants behind that made the experience even sweeter. (Touch) Slowly, the heat of the late morning sun pressed on my soft black yoga pants with intensity as though asking why I insisted on wearing black on such a sunny day. (Sound) For a brief moment, only silence intermingled with birds chirping, until the sounds of classes letting out brought passersby, hints of their diverse conversations lingering even after they'd walked past. (Memory/connection) My mind's eye saw the surroundings as they were when I was here. In my memory, some students rushed to classes, while others took in the sun on towels their parents had lovingly selected with them at Bed Bath and Beyond a few weeks before the semester started. The strong sensory experience, paired with the ghostly memories provided the perfect moment of reflection. In that moment, I was a student, an educator, and a student once again.

It would be great to have more examples, so I hope you will take your own moment and share your paragraph (or even sentences) with me!

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