Sunday, January 22, 2012


"Fresh Bread", oil, by Hall Groat II
I occasionally bake a few loaves of bread, and seeing the dough slowly rise in the bowl sometimes puts me in mind of my young students and their secretly rising lives. A few grains of yeast puts a mysterious, transformative power into bread dough, and there’s a similar force transforming my students moment by moment as they sit before me. The dough seems like a lifeless blob as it rests silently in the bowl, and my students, to be honest, are often more like clusters of drowsiness than emergent human beings, but there are great good works going on inside both. Somehow the dough gradually grows more expansive, more resilient, and, you might say, more full of the forces of life – and the same, I know, is happening to my students all the while they are in my classroom. The dough, before long, will become brown and beautiful loaves of bread, and my sometimes drowsy and lackluster students will, each day, see fresh ideas flowing toward them, and new horizons in their young lives, and lighthearted, unbelievable possibilities for themselves.

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