On Knowing Again for the First Time

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time

~ T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding, The Four Quartets

Last week was finals week, and this morning will bring a blissful calm to campus as students take a break before the final push onward through spring term and the completion of another academic year. All last week tent kiosks popped up along Monroe street with banners announcing text book buy-backs. When I see these kiosks I ponder much longer we will have printed texts, which as a book Continue reading

On Remembering What it was Like

Mary Cornelius Photography

Like many children, my step-daughter struggled with the transition to middle school. Going from a small neighborhood grade school, where more often than not she had the same teacher for two years in a row, to the larger, less personal middle school, with its expectations for greater autonomy, left her feeling alone, overwhelmed, and uncertain. Trying to find ways to help her navigate the situation, I asked if there was a teacher to whom she was drawn, and with whom she might be able to share her struggle. At first she replied with a series of less than plausible reasons why asking a teacher for help would not work, and when she realized I wasn’t buying fully into her ideas she finally said in exasperation “don’t you remember what it was like? Wasn’t there anyone you were afraid of when you were my age?” In that very moment I was transported back fully to when I was near her age, and yes, yes indeed, there was such a person. MB. She managed the local stable where I took riding lessons. Continue reading