Thursday, August 04, 2011


"Bending in the Wind", acrylic, by Fawn McNeil
As strange as it may sound, I sometimes think of the wind when I’m teaching. I’ve always loved listening to the wind and watching it and wondering where it comes from and where it goes, and I find myself wondering something similar about the thoughts and words that waft or rush through one of my English classes. My students and I produce countless thoughts and spoken words in a 48-minute class, all coming from some source that’s always remained a mystery to me. It’s far too facile to say, well, they just come from our brains, which is like saying the wind coming through my yard simply came from the yard next door. All the world’s winds have origins lost in the boundlessness of the universe, and something similar, I think, can be said for the thoughts and words we make in English class. Somehow they arrive in our lives, just as the wind somehow arrives at our doorsteps some mornings, and I love to think of the mystery of where these fresh thoughts and words might have been before they brought their refreshing lights to our classroom.

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