It’s no secret that I love my job. I especially love teaching Shakespeare. Most of my teaching career, I have only taught Shakespeare once per year and in most cases Romeo and Juliet. However working at a performing arts school affords me with plenty of opportunity to promote the Bard. This year I have been given a Shakespeare class. I also coordinate our efforts and involvement in the Parker Shakespeare Festival. Last year I had my doubts about middle schoolers loving my man Will, but I was wrong. We increased student interest in studying more of Shakespeare’s work after our successes in the festival.
Joy Choice #4: There’s always time for Shakespeare and more Shakespeare and more Shakespeare.
I had so much work and so many projects to spend time on today. I needed my plan time to send emails, but instead, I worked on Shakespeare scenes with students. We worked on scenes from Antony and Cleopatra, Taming of the Shrew, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. When it came time to return to class, I was so centered and in high spirits. It made me so happy, and the projects and work I had to do—they kept. Sometimes you just have to take a moment to do what you love and share it with a few others.
“I wish you all the joy that you can wish” (The Merchant of Venice)
What joy did you share with others today?
When I went to Children’s Church, we used to sing a song…”It’s bubblin’, it’s bubblin’, it’s bubblin’ in my soul.” I loved it. There’s just something about bubbles. I like blowing bubbles with my kids in the pool, blowing giant bubbles at the science museum, drinking my bubbles in either champagne or Diet Coke, eating the bubbly part of the pizza crust. I love bubbles.
I especially love bubble baths. (Joy Choice #4) I took a long one tonight. #ichoosejoy
I have a busy schedule for the next few months. I could document it here, but I will spare you the details. This is common practice for me. I like to be busy. A good friend of mine often reminds me, “Busy people do.” And I certainly do.
I rarely take time to actually watch a television show in real time. The year before Madeleine was born, my husband gifted me with TIVO, and we have never stopped storing an exorbitant amount of television in its cache. (Seriously, we will never be able to watch it all.) Lately I’ve been catching up on shows using subscription services like Netflix and Hulu, but tonight I watched a show while it was on–commercials and all.
Joy Choice #3: I stopped to watch This Is Us. I never do this. I catch up on weekends and ball my eyes out while my husband occupies himself with football. Not tonight. Tonight I made time, set aside my work, and watched the entire program through bleary eyes while it was broadcast. (Oh Big Three, why do you do this to me?!?). Bleary eyes? How does this connect with joy? It’s this simple:
Stories bring me joy.
Stories are exactly why I spend my days doing what I do. It’s why I read. It’s why I teach Shakespeare, Dickens, Homer, Harper Lee. It’s why I passionately share these stories with my students. It’s why I spend ten minutes a day listening to my students share some of theirs. It’s why I ask my children to recount their days over dinner, and it’s why I’m writing this tonight before turning in, snuggled under cotton sheets with my Kindle in my hands. I love stories. It brings me such happiness to watch/listen/read stories. There’s such joy in every one.