Especially as a STEM educator, I LOVED this solar eclipse–But not for the reasons you might think. Solar eclipse glasses on: This reflection radiates from the heart. I’m pinpointing pinholing–my Big 3 from #SolarEclipse2017 (and they’re not the sun, moon, and earth).

For once, I’m NOT going to analyze:

  • The vast nebula of science concepts that aligned vertically across grade levels or integrated across disciplines;
  • How we should apply everyday life experiences in our space-s to make learning even more meaningful and relevant for students; or even
  • How this far out event featured curriculum objectives that we could have specifically archived and shared through hashtagging with purpose, enabling easy access and future learning resources forever!

Nope. I’m definitely NOT going there THIS time.

This reflection is instrumental in gauging and gaining universal perspective, as if approaching unparalleled, New Horizons.

1–Passionate Learning  

Yesterday was SO exciting! Learners were passionate! But guess what? I’m not even talking about the students (who haven’t resumed our 2017-2018 traditional calendar yet). I’m talking about the educators! This was truly one of those lifelong learning experiences where learners accelerated thru eclipse-glasses-wearing compliance and evidence-based engagement, naturally gravitating toward empowerment!

For once, it didn’t [immediately] dawn on me to summon curriculum maps and objectives to launch and navigate my interest-driven explorations. This was genuine learning, and purely for the sake of learning. We didn’t HAVE to–We WANTED to! I couldn’t help myself, commenting to fellow skywatchers:

What if I could ignite and facilitate THIS kind of learning for our students every day?

For nearly an hour, I observed fellow staff members and friends voluntarily:

  • Exchanging media they received from family, friends, and extended networks on personal devices;
  • Posing for small and large group pictures to post on social media;
  • Teaming up to take pictures of eclipse shadows filtering thru campus trees;
  • Inviting others to view the eclipse thru pinhole projectors they themselves or their families created and brought to school; and
  • Saying things like: “Look what my daughter in South Carolina just sent me!” and “My husband working in Tennessee today just sent me a video of [mid-afternoon] crickets!”

2–People Uniting 

As the world turns, a series of unfortunate events spins out of control, as if to embrace centrifugal forces and defy everything-centripetal. Some even demonstrate hatred–a force seemingly unstoppable if not opposed; a force that defies human instinct; a negative behavior learned well after birth.

But not right now. It was as if–For a brief moment–In the twinkling of… an eye–one star, moon, and planet were aligned.

It Was As If–Every Person in its Path:

  • Especially had THIS one thing in common;
  • Especially focused energies in one direction;
  • Was positioned and equipped to see history in the making from the same perspective;
  • Was prepared to communicate and collaborate about history in the making; and, still
  • Identified and celebrated the silver coronal lining–all that was good from the heavens above–celestial as it may be.

3–Power Greater Than Ourselves

Not only was it beyond our control to influence satellite spheres, we either heeded all the warning signs, adhering to specific guidelines for our own protection, or we risked certain damage to our health and well-being. Expectations were as clear and as high as our ceiling–our sky. Like the weather–for better or for worse–we were rendered powerless to change forces greater than ourselves.

On THIS unpredictable, wobbling sphere, power greater than ourselves may instill a global humility of sorts. Embracing a positive, powerful, outer space event like a solar eclipse TOGETHER, inspired an inner space experience of peace, synergy, and harmony.

Oh–and also—-Space stuff is just plain cool!

At 2:44pm on August 21st, 2017, the moon crossed paths between the earth and sun, aligning to cover ~93% of our solar system’s most life-producing star from my view in Cary, North Carolina. And I will never forget it.

We were passionate. We were ONE. We were at peace. It was well with my soul. And all was well with the world–even if only for a moment.