Tuesday, November 15, 2011


More and more, life seems to me to be composed of secrets, and never more so than in my work as a teacher. In the classroom, as I steadfastly try to teach the students my carefully planned lessons, I feel the fullness of an entire universe of secrets just below the surface of things. While the students and I share thoughts on the significance of sentences in a Dickens novel, great treasures of undisclosed mysteries are lying all around us. It’s as if we work in a wilderness of puzzles, this small classroom called “Room 2”. In a way, every thought that comes to us is a secret: What does this thought really mean? Where did it come from? Where will it go from here? We pretend that we understand our thoughts – that they are simple and understandable statements – but the truth is that every thought is like a locked room and its little key has been long since lost. We share our ideas in class, but essentially, each one is as secret as a closet with a closed door. I guess what this all leads to is the utter secrecy and silence of all of our lives. Around the seminar table in Room 2 sit many adolescent mysteries and a single senior-citizen puzzle, all prepared to pretend we understand each other. We’re foghorns surrounded by vast shadows and dimness, calling out to the darkness in the hope of receiving signals sent back. If this sounds dismal and cheerless, it doesn’t to me. On the contrary, coming to visit mysteries each day seems like an escapade to me, a rousing mission made just for Mr. Salsich.

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