Thursday, October 29, 2009


I occasionally do a few tricks with my old yo-yo, and I sometimes feel like doing it during faculty meetings, especially those in which we pass judgment and set labels on kids. I’m fairly good at yo-yoing, but I have no skill in judging and pigeonholing people. Who am I, for heaven’s sake, to presume that I can analyze, classify, and label another human being? You may as well ask me to analyze the movements of the stars or paste a label on a cyclone. I can be fairly competent in describing student behavior, but not in branding that behavior, giving it a name, putting it in a category, placing an identifying sticker on it. I know what my students do, but I have no idea why they do it. It’s hard for me to sit in these meetings and pretend that I understand the inner-lives of kids who are as multifaceted as the solar system. Something I do understand is how yo-yos work, and one of these days my colleagues may see me rise from my seat and begin doing rock-the-cradles.

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