As I write this, I'm at a kitchen table which looks out at the ocean. I'm separated from sand by a window and an 8 foot stretch of grass. My wife has taken her iPod and gone for a hour-long walk on the sand. My four-year-old is in the living room playing with her princess dolls and showing them a gigantic amount of love. I have my laptop playing some Mad Season which is wonderful music to write to. As I go through my recent stresses (we just moved, being a husband and father is difficult, money struggles, my father is a stranger, my beloved teaching profession is under corporate attack, my health is not what it should be, and various daily tidbits of annoyance), I realize that this environment makes all things possible. Being here at the beach doesn't just de-stress me because it allows me to forget my stresses, it just makes me realize that the things that stress me out aren't that big a deal. Being here also makes me think that I can handle them. Maybe even fix them. Not to sound Pollyanna-ish, but the beach makes me happy and nothing can touch me here.
The Legend of the Loneliest Whale in the World by Leslie Jamison
This is a helluva piece of writing that high school kids would enjoy. It's about a whale who is alone and sings in a unique level (52 hertz) which is much higher than any other whale. People have posited that this whale is alone and seeking a spouse or mate or friend. The whale has become a metaphor for loneliness or unrequited love to many people.
Article: 9 of 10
It's actually a good read and the selection I've linked to is only part of the entire story. Leslie Jamison is the writer who last year was kind of the flavor of the month with her book of essays, The Empathy Exams. To be honest, I didn't like the book at all and I don't know why she was a big deal. There are MUCH better essayists writing today.
Teachability: 10 of 10
High school kids would eat this up. Unrequited love? Are you kidding me? That's like their goal in life. How romantic!