Until we moved this summer, I had never lived in a house with a working fireplace. Several of my friends had them growing up, and many of my friends today have them, but I’ve never had the experience of sitting in my own living room around an open fire on a cold day. Until Wednesday.
With the snow approaching and the temperatures dropping, I had one goal that evening— build a fire in my own fireplace. To be candid, I didn’t even know where to start. So I did what most of us do (including our students) when they want to learn something new— I googled it. After reading a few articles that popped up about the do’s and don’ts of burning a fire in a fireplace, I watched a few videos on YouTube to learn how to build the fire, how to open and adjust the flue, and how to keep the fire going.
All summer we’ve needed to buy a screen for our fireplace, so I asked Katie to buy one, which then turned into having to buy all the tools one should have for a fireplace. (According to Carson, I don’t even want to know what all of that cost!).
With the screen in place, tools on hand, and the knowledge gained through Google and YouTube, I was ready for my first fire in my own fireplace, but I was nervous because I kept envisioning the worst things happening all because of my inexperience. Thankfully, my neighbors stopped by to visit and I told them what I was up to, and they did what— and this is the whole point of sharing this with you— they did what we’re all trying to do each day.
Drawing on their own experiences with having a fireplace, they knelt beside me to help build the fire, gave me a few suggestions, and stuck around to make sure things were good.
My neighbors took time to see how I was doing and find ways to help me using their own experiences.
In the same way, we should take time to see how our students— and how each other— are doing and find ways to help everyone around us using our own experiences. Google and YouTube can only do so much. Learning is much more than knowledge and information— it’s connection, application, and experiences.
Thanks for making this a great first semester. Enjoy the break, take time to rest, re-charge, and relax with your families. If you have a fireplace, enjoy it. If you need a little help with it, Google it, YouTube it, and then give me a call and we’ll get it going (or I’ll just send my neighbor your way).