There’s a lot of precise, painstaking science in this teaching business, but also a lot of craziness. When I’m working my way through a lesson, I sometimes feel like a scientist who’s using sensitive, hair-splitting instruments while dancing. The work is both clear-cut and messy, both sensible and senseless. There have been countless times in the classroom when I seemed to be trying to systematically turn a tornado into a tidy organization of breezes. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this, since all of life works in a similar way. This morning, for instance, my thoughts are spiraling off in many directions, while at the same time my heart is making its precise rhythms and my lungs are lifting and falling with correctness. There’s tumult of all kinds across the world, while at the same time stones are being exactly stones and air is being simply air. Exactitude and craziness are comrades, including in my wild but well-ordered classroom.