The Quiet Hum of the City

Friday, July 10, 2015

Yesterday was day two of my commute on the train.  Again, while waiting for and riding the train and while walking the mile from the bustling station to the Erikson Institute amidst thousands of commuters, I was struck with how quiet the city is in the morning.

I sat silent on the train, aware of every sound I made digging through my book bag looking for my novel, because it seemed as if the zipper was as loud as a fog horn.  The car, though filled with people, was silent.

Once arrived, not a word was spoken as people walked with their comfortable, quiet shoes and hurried pace.  A silent herd descended on the city.

Standing elbow to elbow at the crosswalks, all waiting for the ped light to change, yet no interactions were made.  No pleasantries, no glances, no smiles, just focus.

In fact, the sounds I did hear all came from the city herself.  She was starting to wake up with the dawn.

Random squeaks of brakes as a bus slows, or a squeal of tires as a cab slips on the still wet pavement from the overnight rain, were the sounds that were regularly repeating.

The occasional thunder of the L train, and then stillness.

Even the water taxi glided quietly down the Chicago River, but we could hear the water lapping at its sides from the bridge above.

Off in the distance, the sounds of construction could be heard, as nothing stays the same in the city for long.  The sounds of change start with the sunrise in the city.


There I was, walking through the city, going to a conference that will bring great change to our bilingual program in D100.  I was spending three days in the city to learn about dual language and biliteracy unit planning so that our students can succeed in this world.  I was walking through a quiet city so that I could collaborate and share ideas with three schools in my district about our changes.  We discussed supports, and challenges, and shared common concerns, and created new learning.  It just seemed like such a contrast, to be in the city and be so quiet and alone, and then so communicative and alive.

It made me consider the world we are preparing our children for.  We are planning for oracy, and the sharing of ideas, and creation of new thoughts.  Yet that world of workers seemed so quiet and independent.  Perhaps, they too, were just focusing their thoughts for the day.  Perhaps, they too, were just waking up to the day ahead.

I can't wait to see what our students are able to bring to that world, once they are biliterate and collaborative and ready to change the world.

Thanks for the collaboration this week!  +Beatriz Lopez +Maria Lopez +Karen Marino +Mariana Kelm +Molly McElherne +Michelle Brezek +Anaese Vega +Lucy Carrera +Gissel Escobedo +Alexa Tracy +Ines Garcia
Let's continue the effort!

Day 9

1 comment:

  1. I just love your description of The City! I felt like I was there.