People are pink-cheekt only
long enough to
ferret out what if we were wan and wiser we
be.” -Margaret Avison
I wore a mustache in my last passport photo and the cocky grin of an undergraduate ready to conquer the world. Long since lapsed, I replaced that passport this summer and struck out with my wife and kids into the vast (and still unconquered) world for a trip to British Columbia. Miles apart from my daily life, Vancouver Island whispered soft promises of lush forests, clear lakes, and an almost European city named after Sherlock Holmes’ favorite royal.
And while tramping through the woods, floating down the Cowichan River, and even watching two separate mummy movies in the hotel room with my seven year old, I found that if I paid attention there were some lessons I could take back to my work with students in the fall. Well, maybe not so much with the mummies.
As a teacher I was never able to completely turn off the question: “Could I teach this?” when I read anything. It’s how my students ended up being exposed to Lost in the Funhouse, Mike Royko, and Pierre Boulle’s Monkey Planet. Now that I’ve been an administrator for a few years, I find that in much the same way I look for perspective as I experience life. The audience for these lessons is most often just me, ferreting out what I should hold on to and what I should let be, what is worthy of investing time and energy in and what takes resources from what really matters.
On the trip north I had the opportunity to enjoy some experiences that seemed grist for the mill of a short series of posts. I don’t promise wisdom; I’m just a traveler, not a guide. They’re simply one fellow’s perspective, “pink-cheekt” as the poet says.
Read together as a travelogue or as individual day trips, over the next few days my posts will taste a bit like maple and amble along like moose.