I didn’t get to my tai chi at home this morning, so I did it during a free period at school. Normally I don’t like to do tai chi at work. If I’m doing it right, it makes me sweat, and it’s no fun to sweat in good clothes like jacket and tie. On the other hand, I’d rather do it than not do it — I attribute doing it for the last almost-eight weeks to my gradually strengthening immune system. But it always seems to attract notice, and I’d rather not draw notice to my practice at school — because then I might be asked to teach it, and that didn’t go so well at my old school.
So, I found a secluded path between two wings of the school. No windows look out on this path, or, at least, no windows from currently-occupied rooms. There’s a window into a usually empty corridor, and a window into a lab that’s unoccupied on Thursdays at this time. Perfect location — outdoors, in good weather, away from prying eyes, and a beautiful view through the still barren trees to the reservoir.
About halfway through the form, I hear very young giggling behind me. Turning around to look (very bad form), I realize it’s one of my colleagues with the whole first grade. They’re coming back from P.E., and they need to pass right by my hidden practice space to get to their classroom. And they’re giggling at me. I don’t know how long they’ve been watching, but the door is closed and my colleague is watching curiously. I must look very silly, doing these moments that look like half-hearted punches into empty space. Her students are giggling at me. One by one, they disappear into the building, giggling to each other. One student asks, “What are you doing?” Another asks, in confusion and apparent displeasure, “what was he doing?” They may not be aware I can hear them.
I may have to start practicing at school more often. There’s nothing like giggling first graders to remind you not to take yourself too seriously.