Yesterday, when my granddaughter and I were blowing soap bubbles on her 3rd birthday, I somehow felt like I was back in my classroom. As we watched the bubbles drift off in the spring air and then pop or simply disappear, I thought about the hundreds of thoughts I share with my students each day, thoughts that are lucky to last as long as the bubbles we were blowing. My phrases and sentences sail out among the kids like our bubbles floated among the flowers close by, and most of my words silently vanish from the students’ minds as fast as the bubbles disappeared. In fact, all my carefully designed lessons are probably no more abiding than the evanescent bubbles Ava and I were cheerfully sending forth. Some of my English lessons, I’m sure, harmlessly dissolve and vanish within minutes, just as moments and days do. Classes and school days pass away like bubbles in a stream, and so do Mr. Salsich’s precious lessons. Fortunately, however, this, to me, is not cause for gloom. After all, I’m mildly confident that some of my words and lessons are occasionally as interesting, even perhaps as beautiful, as the bubbles Ava and I sent sailing across the lawn yesterday. They don’t last, but then nothing beautiful does, simply because beauty always makes room for new beauty. As our bubbles disappeared, my granddaughter and I took closer notice of the multicolored blossoms they had been among, and when my words and lessons have vanished, perhaps it’s sometimes true that the students’ wisdom has, in a secret way, ever so slightly widened and sharpened.
© 2010 Hamilton Salsich