Hello, and welcome to CCH. I am Mrs. Teri Hartman, and for this first blog post I will put on my English teacher hat in order to relay a small lesson on the power of diction. Don’t worry; it will be quick and painless and has everything to do with my main idea.
Naturally, you may be asking yourself, “Welcome the ‘New’ what, exactly?” You may think that the title of this blog post is a grammatical error. Au contraire! I purposefully used “New” as an abstract noun, rather than as an adjective to describe something specific. If I used “new” as an adjective, then all of a sudden I’ve narrowed the what of the New you should be open to. However, my wish for you is to welcome THE New, all the New you can muster, in fact. By this, “New” becomes an abstract noun: an entity of its own to meet in this 2017-2018 school year.
Some of this New may be super exciting and fun. Maybe joining a new club will open up angles of your identity you’ve never seen before. Or maybe meeting New people will help you create some of the closest relationships of your life.
However, some of the New may not be so comfortable. I argue, actually, that a lot of New (AKA: CHANGE) is scary. We like the familiar because we can go on auto-pilot and not really have to think too hard or risk too much. The problem with having no New is then we don’t become New, either. Think that’s not so bad? Ask yourself in twenty years if you’d like to hear your teenage advice on balancing your future career and family, or watching your future child suffer from a broken heart. If it wasn’t for my own struggle and broken heart (which I could only earn from New) I wouldn’t know how to navigate through these very real problems.
For our grade tens, they’ve already met a shade of New yesterday on the first day at CCH. And from what I’ve heard, they’ve all survived! For some of our seasoned high school students, they will still meet New when they get their first not-so-great grade, or experience their first real betrayal this year. For them, New will be a whole other discomfort to get to know.
These all sound terrifying and exactly what we don’t want to encounter. Your instinct may be to avoid and hide from New. Nonetheless, despite our best efforts, New finds us anyway. You see, the trick to not letting New chase you into the corner, is to ask it what it’s there to teach you.
Before I take my English teacher hat off, I’ll share with you some wise words about New from the great Sufi poet, Rumi:
Every morning a new arrival.
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
meet them at the door laughing,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
It may be hard to remember to “meet [New] at the door laughing” when New seems tougher than you, but New is temporary and always changing, and will leave you with a lesson if you let it.
Keep those hearts open, folks.
- Mrs. Hartman
Mrs. Hartman is the Lead English teacher and Blog Administrator at CCH. When she’s not marking papers, you will find her writing, reading, scrapbooking, cuddling with her dog, reading, writing, singing, and writing. Her favourite things about CCH are all of the amazing people she works with every day.