As a teacher, I have to remember that speech doesn’t always have to be spoken. There are times during class when, though my students are silent and seemingly impassive, the expression on their faces speaks a clear message of quiet interest. It’s like sunlight shining behind a motionless screen of trees: you know it’s there, silent but staying strong in the background. At times, a visitor might think my students are thoroughly uninterested (and at times they definitely are), but I can sometimes almost hear the concealed voice of curiosity in their soundless faces. Many teenage students, when they’re in class, are like trees on windless days. The limbs and leaves move only slightly and almost indiscernibly, and the students’ voices are hushed, as if both trees and kids are sleeping – but all the while immeasurable forces are flowing underneath. Sometimes I walk among the taciturn scholars like I’m strolling in the park. I enjoy the company of quiet, beautiful trees and wise, silent children – and I listen for what both of them are saying.