The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Monday, May 10, 2004

Moving on from the last post's schadenfreude, I don't often dwell on my own abysmal track record in the classroom.
You see, I don't remember much of the lessons I sat through at school, myself. I can remember hours of pointless detail of the social structure of school, the hierarchies, the hidden rules of the playground, the million myriad ways to incur peer displeasure or humiliation - but of actual lesson content, only about three are memorable, and all took place after age fifteen.

Trust in this teenage amnesic fog of lethe provides a certain level of absolution for my own pedagogical miscalculations. "Don't brood on it," I reassure myself, after any particularly disastrous chalk talk, "they won't remember a word of it until 2008, anyway."

Yet students do remember concepts, however transient your actual face will become for them. I relish that brief few seconds of anticipation on an ordinary dying fly buzzing over heated classroom skull session, the feeling of power wielded just before you imprint, before you utterly mess with their minds by explaining to them what infinity is.