June is a bit of a write off in terms of running for me. As a teacher it is my busiest month and my most exhausting. There are report cards to write, a graduation to plan, year end field trips to attend, and lots of organization and clean-up to complete. I am certainly not complaining, since I am now heading into what I hope will be a wonderful, relaxing summer holiday. It won’t all be rest and relaxation though, since in a week I should be starting marathon training in preparation for the Hamilton Road2Hope Marathon on November 1st. For the last four weeks I have only run when I wanted too and haven’t even bothered recording times or distances. I know I have lost much of my endurance over the month but past experience has told me that with work it comes back. Most of my running was done in orienteering events or on a couple of trail runs. The fact is I quite enjoyed this more relaxed version of running but I think I am ready to start getting serious again. This week I will start making a training schedule, which I already know is going to contain 2 very different runs for me each week, but more on that in another post.
One thing I will need to organize is my running playlist. I have barely used my ipod this month so it will be nice to get back to listening to my favourite music. One artist who is always on my playlist is Canadian singer David Usher. Whether singing solo or with the band Moist, his music somehow always manages to evoke emotions in me that sometimes I can’t even name. I do know that now, however, his song St. Lawrence River, one of my favourite songs of any artist, will most likely bring tears to my eyes. Yesterday my grade six class, knowing how much I loved the song, rewrote the lyrics for me. At the beginning of the school year we spent time studying poetry. It was a subject I had only meant to touch upon until I discovered that my class – all boys – had a passion for poetry. They were entranced with the work of Edgar Allen Poe and they passionately wrote their own poetry. They decided to bring the school year full circle by putting words to the tune of St. Lawrence River. I am copying their words here, mostly for selfish reasons; I will know where to find them when I need to remind myself that in teaching we have the opportunity to open our kids up to endless possibilities and hopefully have at least a tiny influence on the young adults they will become.
Lyrics by my 2015 Graduating Class, inspired by David Usher’s St. Lawrence River:
Your mind can roam boundless.
A picture is formed from the verses on paper
where words harmonize,
unearth all the words that rhyme all together
you make it so fun to learn here.
Caught in the confusion and doubt of the math
you helped it make sense,
I was fumbling through class
like a child in the dark
when our problems all come
I devour your kindness
and the wisdom and knowledge you teach us
in our class.
And I never thought a test could be so fun.
It’s so nice,
to know there’s someone there to help us out
when it’s hard
So we all want to thank you.
So if you happen to see me out on the roads or trails with tears streaming down my cheeks, you know what song I will be listening to, hearing it with words meant for me.