The click-click of keyboards, the hum of music from earphones, the drone of quietness… they’re the only things we’ve heard for weeks. The November-December session of teaching finished, the New Year holiday came and went, and the lull of waiting for another session continued. Here, winter holiday starts with the New Year and lasts a couple of weeks. It’s also the time of examinations for university students and prep time for the next semester. One of the hardest things for me to get used to was working through Christmas. From age 4 to 22 my brain had been conditioned to slow down mid-December to beginning-mid January. Pushing through Dec. 20 onto Christmas and beyond till Dec. 31, was difficult. Who knew moving break by just a couple of weeks could wreak havoc on conditioned minds? When students were winding down for their break, I kept wanting the activity to pick up.
February is here now and even the town looks like it is awake with activity. The activity ebbs and flows with the start and stop of semesters. It is the wonderful way of college towns. Even our language center was humming with activity as people came in to register for classes. With each class filled to capacity, the droning hum of quietness is now replaced with the pitter-patter of people climbing up the stairs to get to their lessons. The sound of activity. The sound of busyness. The sound that it is time to get back into lesson planning, preparing to meet fresh new faces, and reacquainting with old faces. I love that sound.