I miss the cherry blossoms. I’ve been off this week and seized the opportunity on several days to travel down Rock Creek Parkway, settle at Haines Point, churn my music, and watch the fishermen tempt the fish. The only things missing were the fragile pink and white flowers squeezing a lifetime from a moment, and my students hearing me tell them about it. The cold weather confuses the trees, and they cannot seem to decide when is the right time to dress for spring. I know the feeling. The Cherry Blossom Festival proceeds without them, but no one is fooled by the parade. Something is missing. I know that feeling too.
The last few weeks before our Spring Break oozed magic. My students and I dissected the story of Emmett Till. We read original documents and articles, watched historic footage, and followed the legal case against his murderers. In the end, I assigned students a persuasive essay in which they must take a stand on an overarching moral questions: was Emmett Louis Till a martyr or a victim? Was his death “necessary or unnecessary” in light of the civil rights gains his lynching engendered?
The papers are due tomorrow. After all our profound discussions, I can’t wait to see what they have written. Like cherry blossoms, our time together is rapidly coming to a close. I want us to end on a strong note. We have come so far this year, but there is still much to do. Such is the world of teaching. I miss us already. Given the number of emails and text messages I received over the break, I have a feeling they do too.
–Mark E.P. Roberts (teachermandc)