Tuesday, May 10, 2011


When I looked up the word “sudden” in a dictionary this morning, I found this definition -- “occurring or done quickly and unexpectedly or without warning, as in a sudden bright flash” – and it immediately came to me that suddenness is something I constantly witness in my classes. There are sudden bright flashes moment by moment as my students and I make thoughts with the speed of strings of firecrackers. All our thoughts are completely unexpected, popping up in our minds like surprises, one exploding thought preparing the way for the next. Each thought is as swift as a sparkle of light -- a glint and then it’s gone. A 48-minute class is a spectacle of suddenness. Even the looks on our faces change with the speed of shadows under windswept trees, and feelings flow in and out of us so fast we can’t possibly appreciate them all. It’s good, I guess, that I encourage the students to work with slowness and consideration, but at the same time I know that suddenness is the supervisor of all of us.

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