Friday, January 07, 2011


I’ve always liked the idea that the word “holy” derives from the old German word meaning “whole” -- partly, I suppose, because it gives me a chance to think of my classroom as a holy place. I long ago gave up going to church, but still, I have an unshakable interest in the sacred aspects of life, and who knows, perhaps I can consider my fairly unexceptional classroom to be holy, in the sense of whole and together. After all, we work in one room, study one subject, see one set of windows and one wide space outside where birds coast past our classroom. Also, we share the same air for our lungs and the same thoughts, swapped back and forth among us, for our minds. Even feelings float in the midst of us, not owned solely by anyone but moving fluidly from one to another, and thus, you could say, fastening us together. Just this morning a girl shared a thought about Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities, and three of us quickly said her comment caused us to change our minds about him. Her thought had become our thought. She was us and we were her -- together, for those moments, in a blessed place.

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