Delycia and I have been reading The Education of Henry Adams together, and I was thrilled today to read that Adams enjoyed working with his Harvard students because sometimes “their minds burst open like flowers at the sunlight of a suggestion.” His metaphor made me see, for a moment, the millions of students whose minds, every so often, will be unfolding in fresh ways in their classrooms this year. There will be classrooms full of youthful, flourishing minds everywhere, minds made for the sole purpose of blossoming with bright new thoughts – and the slightest suggestion from a teacher can start the process. In these first weeks of my retirement from the middle school classroom, I will daydream, now and then, about these gardens of good young minds and their teachers. I will see students stretching and spreading out like the flowers in Delycia’s garden, and teachers trying their best to stay abreast of all this full-of-life sprouting and blooming. I won’t miss it, because my wife and I will be doing our own special blossoming, but I’ll see it in my daydreams sometimes.