The guttural sound of a percolator greets me as I step into the student lounge. "Coffee's on, ya wanna cup teach?" It's 9:07, class started at 9:00 and the entirety of my class are here; my intention was to collect them, to usher them into the classroom. Instead, we mill about as the machine grunts and steams its way to expounding the black liquid. In the world of the Keurig, the single cup movement, I look at my students and sincerely wonder if we are destroying more than just the planet with our drive towards efficiency.
In the corporate world, I had a coffee machine on my desk. Between emails, reports and updating Facebook, a solitary cup would brew and without even leaving my office, I would take my "break". I wonder now what I missed. This communal sharing of a single pot, the waiting, brewing, and then re-brewing to make sure the next person can feel the warmth through a ceramic cup is a ceremony that nourishes the community.
I realize that I am the one who is late, not my students. In the hustle of preparing my classroom, getting handouts printed and powerpoints polished I almost missed the true start to the day. The ritual of greeting one and other as people, not as a pupil at the teacher, not across a desk, but across a powerdery bowl of Coffeemate and a spoon of suspect origin.
When the student is ready the master appears, it's not even 10:00 am and I have learned so much.