August 15, 2016, Prescott- Today and tomorrow mark what medieval Europeans would have called the Ides (divides) of August. Most of us are aware of the concept of dividing months into fortnights (periods of two weeks), from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”. The Ides of March became associated with foreboding, associated with the death of Caesar.
Division, for me, is something we need to work hard at overcoming. I am in a new work environment. The three of us who staff the room are working to overcome differences in style, priority, and temperament, both among ourselves and with the 6-7 supervisory staff, who are in and out of the room during the day. Then, there are differences that arise with, and among, our charges- the students in our self-contained unit. Finally, there are the other staff at the school, who are united in their little groups, but have a ways to go in opening up to those perceived as “others”.
Division, at its most innocent, is a coping strategy for making sense of one’s world. At its most nefarious, it is a way of maintaining barriers. This is something we all tend to do, to one extent or another. My goal is to eliminate as many of “the Ides”, socially, as I can, without falling back into my former patterns of being pushy and insistent. Those only closed up the circles more quickly. This time, I will be more prone to careful listening and patience.