Wednesday, March 1, 2017

SOLSC #1 - Introduction and Night Walk

A brief introduction: My name is Max and I am in my forty-first year on this planet, my nineteenth year teaching, my thirteenth year of marriage, my tenth year teaching middle schoolers, and seventh year as a father. Colorado is where I reside, mountains are where I long to be and I play disc golf. For the fourth year, I am participating in the SOLSC and guiding students from my classroom and my school on the same writing journey. Here is the link to our school blog and the 15-20 students who are participating in the Classroom Challenge.

Night Walk

Daughter put to bed? Check.
Wool socks? Check. 
Phone with Freakanomics podcast queued up? Check.
Green puffy jacket? Check.

It's time for a night walk. 

During dinner it was lightly snowing but as I step outside the front door, the sky is inky black and Orion hunts brightly in the southern sky. Snow that tried to accumulate on the street and sidewalks has been vanished by the residual heat of the day and the only evidence of the snow are the large flakes on the grass and cars. The air cold and dry. It's cold enough that I start walking with a quick pace, but not so cold I turn back for my gloves. 

Early adjustments are always part of the first minutes of a walk. I fiddle with my ear buds for proper fit. Next, fine tune the volume so I can hear the podcast but stay aware of outside noises like cars and barking dogs. My neck and ears are almost stinging in the night air so my hood comes up and I zip the front to my mouth. Thus situated, I must alter my breathing slightly to avoid fogging my glasses with each exhale.

For forty minutes, it's only me and Orion in comfortable, silent, company. Then, I return to the warmth and light of my house, with rosy cheeks and a clear mind.

Note - I had a slice written last night and while editing something in the code, managed to erase the whole thing. I should have written on Word first and pasted it, but I was being "efficient." So what is above is a completely different slice of the same experience, while having some of the same flavor and feel. Funny how writing is like that.

photo credit: fs999 Orion Belt & M42 via photopin (license)


  1. I felt like I was with you on that walk because it was so vividly described! Funny that my mom just mentioned to me that Freakonomics podcasts were a favorite of hers. I need to check it out! I usually listen to books, but I need to listen to podcasts, too, every once in a while. It IS interesting that the same event can take on another feel/tone/theme/perspective when writing from different points of time.

  2. This looks really interesting. I can never really spot Horizon because when there are not enough stars it doesn't show up and when there are a lot, then I cannot make it out from all the others.

  3. Hello Max! nice slice! I know nothing (and I mean nothing) about stars.

  4. I don't go far at night, but love spotting Orion, just up to the right in my night sky. Your walk sounds like that good spot in the day everyone needs, just to 'be'. Welcome back, Max!

  5. So beautiful! Love the inky black sky!