We are Here: The Pale Blue Dot

This video, found in multiple versions on the internet, will be used as a journal prompt for my Intermediate Composition students. It’s meant to make them consider our existence on Earth, and how much we matter. Many of us think we matter so much, but in the big picture, do we really? What matters more than us?

Credit for the discovery of this video and the idea to use it as a journal prompt belongs to Greg Van Nest, talkie.

My Intermediate Composition students are also going to watch the film With Honors this week. Maybe they will start considering the existence of others around them and those less fortunate as equally important as their own lives. One can only hope…


A new set of students every 12 weeks is refreshing – like a breath of fresh air after being trapped in a locker room with a sweaty football team. Although I liked my students last trimester, the make-up of my classes this trimester seems to be more agreeable and manageable, so I therefore like my classes more. Overall, I am happier with the way my classes are operating this tri. For a lot of these kids, I’m sure a new teacher every 12 weeks is refreshing, too.

Having Angela Maiers come back into our school is refreshing. She brings with her so much knowledge and energy, I wish I could bottle it up and refresh myself when necessary. As an educational consultant, Angela brings ideas and strategies to inservice days and our classrooms to help students be more aware of their learning and teachers be more aware of how to show students how to learn. Eventually, students will be more independent learners, prepared for the shift in our global society. Despite some grumblings from a few faculty members not ready to jump on board with the philosophy and needs of a 21st Century learner she presents us with, Angela turns every lesson, comment and conversation into something positive. Her presence and passion is refreshing.

The coming of winter is refreshing. Although I dislike scraping my car, the static electricity in my hair and clothing, the icy roads, the dry, chapped skin and the shivering, I like the way the air is crisp and clean-feeling. I love coming home and warming spiced apple cider and sipping it while I reflect on the day and prepare for an evening of more schoolwork. I love the flannel sheets and sleeping in on Saturday morning because the world outside is frosty, as well as the bedroom. 

So, whether refreshing for you is a breath of fresh air after being trapped someplace smelly, or a new outlook on learning, or a cup of hot apple cider at the end of a long day, refreshing is just that: refreshing! Take a minute to refresh before you break down.