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Disrupting Denial? Where to start?

By Elaine Harger
Sometime in the night, smoke curled through the window screen, the smell of danger jerking me from deep sleep. Registering the now familiar scent of wildfires (safely distant ones), and exhausted from the first full week of the new school year, I immediately fall back to sleep, only to dream of a planet ablaze, flames strangling the life out of everything. Today's gray Seattle sky is not an indication of expected rain, but again the presence of smoke, forests burning still in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Montana. The nightmare fires of dying forests, along with the wild winds and waters of Harvey, Irma, and the approaching Maria. Climate change morphed finally into climate breakdown. And I go about my day, a sense of foreboding and urgency always, deeply present, while my behavior camouflages both, conveying normalcy, engaging in routines of school life as if all is well with the world. But it isn't. And I wonder what my behavior teaches the students…

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