Friday, January 15, 2016

How do you search for what you don't know you need?

I saw an eagle this morning when I wasn't even looking for it. Yesterday I went out of my way to drive down near the dam where eagles have been known to hang out this time of year, but I saw only gulls swirling above the ice and spray; today, on the other hand, I was driving along the highway not even thinking about eagles when there it was, looking majestic on a tree along the river.

Such serendipity early in the day has got to be a good sign. Today I will find all kinds of things I'm not looking for, things I don't even know I'm missing. What will they be? Impossible to say. I'll know 'em when I see 'em.

I still don't know my new students well enough to predict what gifts they'll bring to class. I'm learning their names pretty well, except in the composition class, where the roster has been different every day as students shop around for sections they find appealing. I'm not sure exactly what they're looking for but several students clearly weren't finding it in my class, so they've gone on to greener pastures.

I've been surprised already by which students are willing to speculate wildly about literature out loud and which ones prefer to keep their insights tucked neatly away in some secret hidey-hole. Half of my job is finding those hiding-places and releasing those insights to enrich the rest of the class, but where shall I look for them? It's too soon to tell. I'll know 'em when I see 'em.


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