I’m taking two classes this semester, still working toward a Master’s; I have to study.
K is taking a class this semester, beginning her course work toward an eventual professional license; K studies.
L, seeing the two of us, has decided she needs to study.
Sharon Isbin playing the Double of Bach’s Lute Suite In C Minor, BWV 997: terrifying.
23 Bach_ Lute Suite In C Minor, BWV
Sharon Isbin playing the Sarabande of Bach’s Lute Suite In G Minor, BWV 995: lyrical perfection. (This is also from his Cello Suite No. 5.)
10 Bach_ Lute Suite In G Minor, BWV
It was a mystery: walking down the street in our home outside of Rock Hill, I found that no matter how I jumped, sprinted, or turned, my shadow stayed with me.
It’s a novel observation, but one we all experience. So ubiquitous is the discovery that are shadows are inescapable that it finds its way into our cultural imagination. Recall that in Disney’s imagination, Wendy first meets Peter Pan when he’s trying to capture his shadow.
Yesterday, the Girl discovered her shadow is relative.
“Tata, look! My shadow is big
and then it gets really little.”
The rest of the swing time, L kept her chin buried solidly in her right shoulder as she contemplated the mysteries of her ever-changing shadow.
The Girl, tucked in bed, is trying to convince me that, despite having trekked down the hall just six minutes ago, she has to go again.
“Tata, I’m lying in bed,” she begins, thrusting her right fist out in front of her. “I’ve been drinking juice,” she continues, thrusting her left fist out as well. They float there, swaying back and forth as if she doesn’t know what she’s going to do with them.
She claps them together, providing an apt conclusion: “When the two halves meet…”
Over the summer, a former student tracked me down on Facebook and sent me a note. I’d had an interesting relationship with the young man: at times, I felt he was very frustrated with the class. Indeed, he said as much. And he also said that very often, when he’d asked for help, I didn’t really help him. I thought about this for a moment, then realized that he wasn’t yet recognizing what I was trying to do. It’s something along the lines of the saying about giving people fish versus teaching them to fish.
The young man’s note included one of those compliments that feels a little like a backhanded insult. He wrote, “I want to thank you for being such a great teacher and making the class not extremely boring.” Apparently I was boring, just not extremely so. Yet the next few sentences simply set me to smiling:
You would help me sometimes and most of the time you didn’t, and I am glad you did that. I realized that I can’t be helped all the time and that I need to learn to do things on my own more often.
He closed by saying that I “made the class and literature enjoyable” for him, but that’s really of little significance compared to helping him develop self-reliance.
One of the things I love most about teaching eighth grade is the simple fact that I teach more than my subject content. I came to realize this fully the other day, when I received the third letter.
To be continued, again…