Some days I walk through classrooms where there is magic—30 teenagers engaged in thinking about complex issues that are ultimately relevant to their lives. 30 teenagers listening to each other, raising questions, challenging assumptions. 30 teenagers ‘reading’ a photograph with detailed description and wonderings.
I know the teacher has done many specific moves to create this learning environment, habits of mind and relationships. Yet it all comes together in a way that feels like magic.
And then I think of this joke/story I saw somewhere on the internet (disclaimer: may or may not be true since it came from the internet).
As part of an Interfaith community project, A right wing Christian priest, a rabbi, and a Pagan priestess decided that in order to improve relations in the community, they will go on a fishing trip together on a local pond.
They’re out in the boat, and the Pagan priestess excuses herself to go to the bathroom back on the shore. She gets out, walks across the water back to shore, and then walks back across the water to the boat.
The Christian priest looks in amazement, crosses himself, and they continue fishing. It comes on about noon time, and the rabbi realizes they left their lunches back on shore. So he gets up, walks across the water to the shore, retrieves the lunches, and walks back across the water to the boat.
The Christian priest, now completely amazed, and a little bit righteous, thinks, “not to be outdone by two heathens, I can do that too!!” So he gets up, excuses himself to go to the bathroom, takes a step out of the boat and promptly sinks to the bottom.
While he’s flailing around in the water, the rabbi looks at the priestess and says, “Do you think we should have told him about the rocks?”
The Pagan priestess replies, “What rocks?”