Thursday, February 25, 2010


Sometimes it seems clear to me that my students and I are like-minded. That may seem strange to say, since I am a 68-year-old, wizened, old-world teacher and they are newly blossoming adolescents, but still, a strange similarity seems to exist among our thoughts. We seem to think a similar mixture of apprehensive, anxious, promising, and optimistic thoughts. They sometimes feel afraid, as I do, and they occasionally feel full of assurance and security, as I do. I often wonder if thinking is a kind of ocean, and my students and I are simply waves and swells in that single ocean. It’s easy to get spellbound by the notion that we’re all separate thinkers doing our own unique kind of thinking, but to me, that seems far from the truth. It’s also easy to look out at the ocean from the beach and pretend that each wave is a separate entity, but in that case we know it’s a pretense, because we know the ocean is a single vast force, of which waves are simply phases. Thinking, it seems to me, is also a single force, of which my students and I are phases, parts, and stages. The fears and hopefulness I feel are the same fears and hopefulness they feel, but just in different parts of the measureless sea of thoughts. We’re like-minded because we live in the same ocean called thinking.

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