Monday, February 13, 2012


The other day, as I was consoling myself about my inability to understand my students, I recalled a colleague saying we might as well try to understand the dust as understand adolescents. I guess he was speaking of the scattered and infinitesimal aspect of dust and students, the way they both seem to constantly shift and never stay settled, never seem able to be studied and understood. Dust and students constantly surround me in the classroom, and yet they seem as mysterious to me as the world’s lights seen from a mountain’s summit. They are simple and commonplace, these kids and these ever-present specks of dust, yet they are both strangely secretive and incomprehensible. It might seem odd to compare the students I’m trying to teach with mere flecks of miniscule dust particles, but it’s the fact that both kids and dust are ordinary and at the same time astonishingly extraordinary that I’m thinking of. I almost never notice the dust in my classroom, and I often miss seeing my students in their absolute matchlessness. Like the dust, they are in the classroom everyday, seemingly the same as yesterday, and yet, like the dust, they are transforming and shifting second by second. If I had super hearing powers, I could surely hear the dust being reshaped in amazing ways as I’m teaching the students, those unpretentious but astounding persons who are made new every moment in my classroom.

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