Friday, July 13, 2012


This coming school year, as usual, there will be many miracles occurring at each moment in my classroom, and, as usual -- and amazingly -- I fear the students and I will be mostly heedless of those miracles. Each of us is a ceaseless wonder, and yet we generally pass the minutes of my class in ignorance of this, as though what’s happening in those minutes is tiresome instead of astonishing. During English class, we’re in the presenceas it wereof many Grand Canyons, and yet we act, most of the time, like we’re not especially interested. This year, I must somehow let my students know, and remind myself, that life, including my class, is an endless spectacle. As we sit in my classroom, each of us will be an ever-renewing fountain of impressions – thoughts and feelings that seem to flow from nowhere and are as vast and ever-lasting as the sky. Each of us will be transformed every moment – perfectly and beautifully re-made with a brand new thought. The Grand Canyon is an apt analogy. If my students and I were visiting the actual Grand Canyon, we would be exhilarated from start to finish, and yet this year there will be splendor enough in my classroom on Barnes Road to surpass a dozen Grand Canyons. There will be the boundless birth of ideas. There will be -- and I'm totally serious -- wisdom as staggering as the Rocky Mountains. There will be several dozen oceans of thoughts as vast as the Pacific.  By rights, my students and I should keep our eyes wide open in disbelief and astonishment.

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