I used to love the old Bible translations that used the word “behold”, and I still think of it sometimes when I’m working with my students. When we "behold" something -- at least, this is how I think of the word -- we step back in astonishment, and when we ask someone to behold, we’re asking for full attention to something that might be amazing. We don’t behold in a laidback way; when we behold, our customary routines come to a stop and something in our lives suddenly looks miraculous. Thinking of the word in this way, when I’m teaching I should almost always be “beholding”, since what I’m surrounded by are miracles. Each of us – students and teacher -- shares in the miraculous spectacle of life as we breathe in and out and bring our best ideas to birth. The blood in our bodies is refreshed each second of class, and fresh cells are formed moment by moment. Even the sunshine outside the windows is something to behold as it brightens and dims and transforms itself during class. As I’m teaching, what I should say – or shout -- to myself as often as possible is “Behold!” I should insist that I sometimes stop my incessant bustle and simply appreciate the wonders around me in my commonplace classroom. It might make me stand in complete surprise for a second or two.
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