I am a creature of habit. I like my routines. I like silence. I need silence. I drive to and from work in silence. I arrive at school much earlier than I have to – simply so I can be the first person in the math workroom. I usually have three evenings a week with the house to myself for a good four hours.

I cherish my alone time. This allows me to think, to reflect, to work, to just… be. My home routine has been severely disrupted for the past few weeks and I’m not sure when it will return to “normal”. My alone time has been reduced to almost zero. I feel scattered. On edge. My frustration tolerance is approaching zero. I’m reacting instead of acting. I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything.

I don’t like it.

Yet, I’m coping. I steal moments of quiet where I can. What is keeping me going is the knowledge I’ll eventually be able to return to my cherished silence. Last night I started wondering how many of my students face similar situations – without the luxury of knowing the noise will soon end.

Image: stained glass of the insane by autovac via flickr.

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3 Responses to Noise

  1. dmcordell says:


    I am a kindred soul!

    When I was a student, I had to study alone in my bedroom, no background noise or music to distract me.

    I try to do my online work when my husband is napping or otherwise occupied: don’t like to hurt his feelings, but I can’t converse with him or listen to the radio when I’m attempting to write or respond to someone on the computer.

    During school hours, I don’t do any “deep thinking” composition, so I can make it through the day without too many distractions. Students don’t have the luxury of waiting until later to get things done, which I’m sure is a problem for many.

    Your illustration was very apt – set my teeth on edge!


  2. Sarah says:

    Well put.

    This weekend I went out of town (again). I needed to get away from the immediate situation and remind myself of the bigger world away from here. On my drives to and fro, I wonder about my students who can’t get away. How can they find their calm amid the noise?

  3. Jackie says:

    @diane – I don’t expect to get too much done at school either (except for my early morning time). Which is why my time at home is so important to me.

    @Sarah – I know for some students, school is the only time they can expect to have anything resembling a routine. I just don’t know how many. I also don’t know how they do it. I need to keep this in mind.

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