Yup, I’m breathing. Up for air from a long semester. I’m even publicly breathing (that is to say, no I’m not doing much work on anything right now). For two weeks (maybe a bit longer?) I’ll be both offline (traveling) and not working.
A few quick reflections on what went well this semester–
Hearing a student in class discussing language and how, although she and her mom do not speak fluent Tagalog (a language of the Phillipines, where her mom is from), they “pretend” talk in Tagalog in jibberish with the cadence and tones her grandmother used to use while talking. I was astounded that although language could be lost in words, it wasn’t lost in feeling by the way she and her mom still claimed it at certain moments in their private interlanguage among themselves.
Getting lost in so many rabbit holes and forcing myself to come back to a main tunnel in my literature review on my probable dissertation topic. How exciting. It was invigorating (and nerve-wracking) to review over 350 sources (some VERY lightly) for my work. And I’m not amazed at my initial lit review in terms of its sense-making, but I am amazed at how interested and engaged I was. More details on the topic itself–eventually.
Teaching my class and having three students who were enrolled in the African and African American Studies component (who were not education majors but for whatever reason thought my course title sounded interesting) who have told me they now either want to become teachers and/or get advanced degrees in education because of the course. I’m doing a bit of mentoring with them at this point.
Walking through McKinney Falls State Park and riding bikes with my husband to help keep me grounded. I got to see another series of change of season here, as subtle as it is, alongside my partner. We’ve had some really good talks during those outings.
Having a student come out to the class when we discussed LGBTQ issues in class and being able to support her voice about how being part of the LGBTQ community in Austin is an additive part of her identity. I wondered about teaching this part of the course particularly when it rubbed against some students’ religious beliefs but felt encouraged by her own courage in class.
Getting more of a bird’s eye view of a few elementary schools in Austin and how they work; being able to genuinely compliment one of the principals of those schools because of her culturally responsive work in her school, from Day of the Dead altars throughout the school to invited bilingual speakers to cool field trips where kids’ identities were celebrated in a sense that did not feel like simple tokenism.
I could go on, but this should give a small sense of some moments for which I’m grateful in the semester. Just one more full semester to go (and one or two summer courses)–and then my coursework will be finished.