A Ray

Last Tuesday, I enjoyed the slice by Chris Margocs (cmargocs). She wrote about goals. Instead of “beginning with the end in mind”, she emphasized the importance of focusing on right where you are. Now. Here. Right at this moment. “A goal is a mathematical ray.”

I always enjoyed the geometry unit in math. When teaching 4th grade, I vividly recall it followed the hardest computation unit – long division. Students struggled to remember alll the steps: daddy-divide, mommy-multiply, sister-subtract, brither-bring-down. Long division required doing every operation and raised the chance of making at least one math error. So speading time simply naming shapes and geometry terms, like parrallel lines and a ray, were a welcome change and a chance for success for my students.

Since reading Chirs Margocs’ slice, I’ve been imaging myself as a ray.….

Right now, I’m a teacher and my ray’s point is firmly grounded in promoting literacy in Arlington Public Schools in Virginia. Where will my ray take me? Into teacher meetings and classrooms. To Anaheim in November. beside a student for a conference. Among staff for a data discussion. And MANY, MANY trips to bookstores and libraries.

Right now, I’m a wife and mother. Where will my ray take me? Home from work to feed the fish and warm up a meal for two. On to an airplane headed to Europe after Valentine’s Day.

As a ray, I don’t need to know the answers to these questions:
How many more months / years will I teach?
How many more years will I live on 12th Street?
How many more months / days until I’m together again with my girls and their growing family?

Instead, the now is a lovely place to be.
In my current school.
In my current home.
Connecting with my girls via text messages.
Right at this moment.
I find it comforting to not “begin with the end in mind.”
To be a ray!


6 thoughts on “A Ray

  1. Debbie Lynn says:

    I read her story last week also and have thought about the significance of radiating out from a certain point. We all possess an infinite amount of rays to take us in many directions. 🙂 I enjoyed reading about a few of your rays. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fran McCrackin says:

    Having heard this piece before, I think you tightened it up a bit, am I right?
    I love the surprising metaphor. I think that’s what poetry is about- finding a good metaphor that is illuminating and surprising. This ray is one.
    And it is really effective to list what you do NOT need to figure out- how long you will do this or that. And then to say what you ARE and what you DO. This is an unusual way to look at goals and is personally helpful to me.


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