Five Minutes Sitting on a Bench

Yesterday I observed a colleague's teaching.  She remained inside the classroom to talk with a student after class, so I waited outside until her conversation was finished.  For five minutes, I sat on this bench.

Perhaps it seems unremarkable, this simple act of idling time while sitting on a bench, but it struck me as significant for one reason:

For five minutes, I sat.  That's it.  I didn't use the time to check my email.  I didn't try to squeeze in the grading of one additional assignment.  I didn't open my wallet to organize my receipts. 

I just sat on a bench.

During that time, I noticed a pattern of door holding and thank you's as students exited an adjacent classroom.  I noticed the dried residue from weeks of winter's slush and salt on the tiled floor.  I noticed how the student sitting beside me drew his hood over his face and leaned against the wall to grab a few minutes of restless sleep before his next class.

For whatever reason, this five minutes of quiet observation was cathartic, a purposeful choice to slow down in the midst of a schedule where I'm perpetually on duty with something to do, someone to care for, or somewhere to be.

We need more time to sit on benches. 

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  1. Yes! I could use some bench sitting lately. Unfortunately I have a 3-year-old who refuses to let me be idle (and who has also decided that getting up at 5:30 when Mommy gets up is the best thing ever). I want my solitude back!

    I'm glad you had this peaceful moment Robin.

    Wishing you a lovely evening.

    1. Don't three year olds KNOW that 5:30 a.m. isn't an acceptable wake-up time? That's brutal...

  2. I could definitely use some time to sit on a bench! :-)


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