Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Dante, a little black boy in one of my third grade classes, is normally a well-behaved child. But today he punched a classmate in the mouth. The classmate shrugged it off as no big deal, but I kicked Dante out in the hallway. I told his teacher about Dante’s behavior and she told me his mother has throat cancer and is not doing well. For medical reasons, she’s in isolation, and can’t be seen.

In November, a second-grade brother of a child in one of my kindergarten classes died from an asthma attack. The child’s death made local news as the Register Star examined the high increase in asthma rates among children.

I go through light calisthenics with first through third graders, and make them run around the outside of the gym twice. Most of them stop before they finish. When I gather them around for instruction I can’t continue for all the coughing. These children are stuck indoors because of the cold. Indoor air is bad.

Cold cold cold. Toe numbing cold. Single digit crystalline bright star night cold. Woke up very tired this morning because I ate a bowl of sugary cereal before bedtime. Yesterday I read a Newsweek cover story about the new food pyramid and how refined grains are bad for you because the body digests them so quickly and converts them into sugars. So I eat the double whammy of refined grains with sugar on top -- sweetened cold cereal -- and drive my body’s insulin into overdrive. This upset my stomach and kept me awake until almost 2 a.m. I listened to Jon D. (the most mellow voice on radio) Laberto’s Echoes, followed by the BBC World Service, which I listened to until 7 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time.

Worked through my fatigue and woke up for aerobics. Esther did laundry last night and my shorts were still wet, but not soaking. Even with a humidifier on, the clothes dry fast. Put on my shorts and stepped outside to single degree temps. Those shorts were wet enough. But they were dry by the end of the workout.

I’ve been good about eating yogurt, a banana and apple before 2 p.m., and then eating a sensible lunch and sensible dinner. My eating habits at home are pretty good, and since we are saving up money for the PCT hike, we don’t eat out nearly as much. This is good for the Gregaru gut reduction program. I’ve also made a return to longhand journal writing. I type most of the time because I’m faster at it than writing, but Natalie Goldberg, in her book Wild Mind said writing longhand is a more tactile physical experience, and I’m inclined to degree. It’s portableness and, to me, informality, are a draw. I’ve written at least 35 minutes during breaks all this week. My life, post-hectic-no-schedule holidays is in quite a regular happy groove. May I ride it strong and productively in 2003.

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