Wednesday, November 7, 2012


It was one degree this morning as I readied for school, and the bite of the air was obvious the moment I stepped out the front door. If you don't spend much time in frigid temperatures you don't realize that part of the discomfort isn't just the cold, it's the dry. It's the choking feeling that comes when you try to take a deep breath, the overactive blinking your eyes do to compensate. 

And then there's the problem of skin.

My hands are starting to look like I ran them down the side of a cheese grater, courtesy of the hundreds of papers I handle on a daily basis, the compulsive hand-washing that comes as I try to combat illness AND make 74 trips to the bathroom on a daily basis (and they say this gets worse?). When I looked down halfway through this morning to find yet another bleeding cut on my right hand, I didn't even wonder where it came from, though I had no idea. It's in good company, with all the other healing slices I have gracing my fingers and knuckles. I have a healthy stash of high quality, thick lotion, and yet when the thermometer reads 1, I start to feel like I'm fighting a worthless battle.

And so, we sink into winter: temperature dropping, darkness increasing, student attentiveness and focus dropping off a cliff. 

If it hadn't been one degree this morning, and I hadn't absolutely packed my class periods to the brim, I would have marched my 9am class out to look at the mountains. They were positively glowing: pink, vibrant, radiating in a way that only comes in a cool crisp morning.

This is where I live: beautiful, harsh, and extreme. I hope I never fail to notice.

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