Dead Zones

“They found that the number of dead zone events have doubled each decade since the 1950s and that humans have likely contributed to their growth in intensity and size.”

After school, our library is a relaxed and semi-quiet place where students gather for two plus hours, starting homework with their classmates or reading curled up with a pillow and blanket. My yoga music plays quietly while pencils whirr in the sharpener, binders click open and shut, and the Nespresso machine blasts out at least one espresso for me and any other teacher who is in need.It is truly the end of a long day for all when our energy is wanning, and comfort is sought.  Brain power is often at a premium. So you can imagine my surprise (trite but so very true!) when a middle-school student asked me,

“Ms. H, do you think it makes any difference to the universe if we exist or not?”

Without even thinking, I blurt out a definitive, “No.”

“Then why does man think he is so important?” he continues.

This launches an interesting conversation about man as animal, along with varying philosophical approaches on man’s existence, leaving us both with something to ponder. I assume his is about these beliefs; mine, about my amazing students.

Returning home and relaxing with the print newspaper (note bold!), I open to Larger ‘dead zones,’ oxygen-depleted water, likely because of climate change.”  I smile, not because I am a cynic at what seems inevitable.  I smile because this wonderful young man is thinking seriosuly about our life on earth – and it is this act which brings hope.

Fears, D. (2014, November 11). Larger ‘dead zones,’ oxygen-depleted water, likely because of climate change. Health & Science. Retrieved November 12, 2014, from


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