classroom-chair wisdom (on the side of a cereal box)

23 02 2010

as a collaborative writing exercise, pairs of my students in my 10am class are working on writing a paragraph pretending they have to explain academia to someone from another planet: what is this odd stuff humans have/do? most of them are writing relatively simple paragraphs, hanging their support on simple claims like “academic degrees are how people qualify for employment.” Z and J are doing a more philosophical version of the same assignment in the back of the room, because these are their natural proclivities (J is wearing a t-shirt with a mock-up of the Subway logo on it that says: “[Zombieway] eat flesh,” and when he arrived, i overheard Z and their back-row neighbor W discussing the degree to which the green and yellow image worked and didn’t work as a joke-slash-cultural-reference). as everybody is packing up to go (this is the last question in a longer set of activities) and there’s a fast lull in the chatter, i hear Z say to J:

“humans are always learning, though. even as we die, we’re trying to figure out what’s happening, what it all means. we never stop.”

it’s places like this that the fierce flashes of love come from. (& rewriting his words just now gave me chills, the good kind, the good words kind you get from thought and Truth coming together just for a second in perfect resonance for just a chord or two before it fades away again into the usual crash and hiss and boom.)




2 responses

23 02 2010

I’m glad that you have gotten the opportunity to hear the real truth coming from your students. Your people.
Your words about perfect resonance reminded me of something I mentioned last week regarding hearing really good, heart-breaking songs in concert: “the best standing ovation I’ve ever heard was stunned silence.”

25 02 2010

yep, yep, it’s genius. meta-genius, even. wow.

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