Sunday, July 10, 2011


"Building Up in Montana", oil, by Mary Maxam
This afternoon I was lazily gazing at some passing clouds, noticing their ever-shifting shapes and thinking, too, of my always changeable students. These clouds were the kind that seem stable, as though they are solid blobs of matter moving along, but on closer scrutiny become slowly transforming swirls of almost nothing, and I often mistake my students in a similar way. They sit in class like solid and separate entities, each one always the same, always seemingly set in her or his ways, and yet I know for sure they aren’t the same from one second to another. Like clouds, they can fool me with their ostensibly fixed appearance. They can trick me into taking them for granted – “Oh yeah, here come the same kids I taught yesterday” -- while all along they are transforming as constantly as the clouds this afternoon.

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