Thursday, June 09, 2011


Last week, after days of steady rain, revitalizing sunshine swept across the countryside one morning and made me think about the brightening that happens in my classes when understanding suddenly comes to us. We might say quite casually, “Oh now I understand”, but those words don’t come close to capturing what happens when some kind of realization all of a sudden presents itself to us. It is, in fact, a fully transformative experience, sort of as comprehensive as what happens when sunlight lets itself loose after showery days. Even something as seemingly small as finally seeing the sense in a passage from Julius Caesar can remake a student’s inner life as thoroughly as a day of the best sunshine. It’s that “aha” moment, that instant when understanding remakes our minds like breezes remake my backyard’s air. One undersized but spanking new thought can do it, just something as simple as an insight into one sentence in A Tale of Two Cities. One moment you’re Jimmy Smith or Mr. Salsich, and the next moment you’re a thoroughly new and vivid Jimmy Smith or Mr. Salsich, someone the world, for its benefit, needs to know.

No comments: