The Lover of Dusks

The sun was setting in the West as the train pulled up from a tunnel. That day, the clouds were weaving patterns of sand dunes in the skies – wispy ones strewn across the skies in no particular concentration. Definitely not corporeal in shape. Do clouds blush? These ones certainly were – they were blushing in the rosy hues of the sun, in the admiring glances given by every living being that took a moment to notice. A truly astounding sunset was in the making. The kind of sunset I would have liked to watch sitting atop a mountain, or by the seaside, watching the waters join the evening show with its myriad possibilities for reflection.

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But, like I said earlier, I was on a crowded train standing, and glad, really very glad, I was standing facing the window showcasing the sunset instead of having to face the other way. One does not always get the choice. My old heart swelled – I was never one to turn its back on Nature’s beauty. That evening, it burst forth in song. The red planet, Venus, peeped out from behind the rose-tinted clouds. However conditions are on Venus, from here on Earth, she looks marvelous in the early evening skies.

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I turned smiling to my fellow passengers to be greeted with: Nothing. If I wasn’t that euphoric, I might have despaired. Nobody looked up from their cellphones not even a glimpse into the beauties outside. I now realize how Artists feel when their best work is ignored. There the star was, shoring up extra hydrogen and fusion-ing the stores like no planet has before, to helium. The clouds, as already established, were blushing and putting on their best show, and no one looked up from their scrolling! T’was enough to make the poet in me curl up and wail. Instead, I hitched myself up and pointed the sunset out helpfully to the ones standing near me. Every one of them, when they saw the sunset, had a moment in which their pupils dilated, and they stood awestruck.

It felt like a fitting tribute to one who was reading The Little Prince by Antoine Saint Exupery at that very moment. Translated by Richard Howard, himself a poet, this rendition of The Little Prince matched the spirits of the sunset outside. The Little Prince enjoyed seeing sunsets so much – one time he actually shifted his chair multiple times around his little planet to catch the sunset 44 times.

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Excerpt from The Little Prince:

“One day,” you said to me, “I saw the sunset forty-four times!”

And a little later you added:
“You know– one loves the sunset, when one is so sad…”

“Were you so sad, then?” I asked, “on the day of the forty-four sunsets?”

But the little prince made no reply.”

I understood The Little Prince’s yearning for the sunset. I can be seen drooling over the sunset when the world is watching Super Bowl matches, or busy accomplishing something. I tell myself that watching the sunset is an accomplishment.

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Sunrise and sunset are times of transformations, and probably the reason we enjoy them so much. They are beautiful, do not last forever, and set the pace for the next few hours of one’s life. The beautiful transformations are always the gradual, fluid ones – the ones that can assure us of our capabilities to adjust to the coming states – good or bad. A lesson in life’s rhythms.

I came home that evening and gabbled on about the folks on the train who missed the sunset. “Just imagine! What they could have enjoyed, and instead they all looked into their devices!” I said incensed.

The daughter gave me a look of exasperation as if to say  “Did you make a pest of  yourself and point it out to others?”, and went on to enact a scene with her little brother.

Child: “Do you really want to go out today? It is so so cold! And windy!”  

Mother: “Yes! I want to catch the sunset – why don’t you come with me?” 

Child: “Nope! You are nuts – I will look at the sunset from here, are you at least going to wear a jacket or no?” says she.

Mother (shrugs): “Jackets – phsih tosh bigosh! Jackets are for weak people!””

Child: “Amma!  No. You know what, that’s it. Either layer up properly – cap, jacket, shoes etc and then head out, or you are not going to see the sunset!” she says, her lips firm, and a smile twitching at this nature-kook of a mother of hers. 

“You know? You really do become a child with sunsets and fiddle-dee-dumps!”

I laughed heartily at this compliment. Like the author says in The Little Prince: the more he sees of adults, the less he thinks of them.

“I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand. And that hasn’t much improved my opinion of them.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

I was doubling up and cackling with the children after their marvelous performance, and said smartly “Yes my dear children! Sunsets, like life, do not last forever! You want a sense of purpose? Catch the  Sunset!”

They rolled their eyes.

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Annus Confusionis

His voice  quivered with excitement as he read the page out to us. 

Never mind that it was early in the morning, and he did not yet know that the  morning tea was working its way slowly through the cells waking them up. The cells were hitting snooze like the body they reside in usually does with the alarm clock. Yes, things  were getting off to a slow start in the old body. The son, in sharp contradistinction, woke up like a light bulb switched on to full power with the opening of the eyelids. He shone brightly, and his vocal chords took on the  timbre of the morning bugle as he trumpeted the queer finding on Time. 

“Can you imagine a year with 445 days?”

“uhhhhnnnhhhuuujn” 

To this legible response, he prattled on reading aloud to us from his Encyclopedia of Queer Facts.

“Yeah! It was in the year 46 B C, King  Julius Ceaser corrected the lunar  calendar.  This year became known as the annus confusionis or the year of confusion, since the year  had 445 days! Imagine how our  school must have felt!” he said looking up from the thrilling page. 

Time has always excited him – what  it is, how do we measure it, why does it always flow forward and never backwards? 

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I poked my cells up into waking up – it seemed the decent things to do in the presence of such excitement.  

“Exciting huh?! Would they have increased the number of school holidays  (a 5 month summer vacation) or the number of school days?”

It must have been enthralling.  Only, school as we know it today was not in session then – schooling as we know it today only came into existence about   200 years ago to equip people with the ability to sit in one place and learn to get used to it.

So they probably continued with their statue making and war-ring even though the seasons were completely out of whack with what was happening around them. What did they name the months? It must  have been an exciting time to be on the committee determining such things! I wish I could go back in time and be a fly on the  wall for those meetings, instead of the ones I  usually go to. 

“Isn’t it amazing the  kinds of things human beings  have figured out?” I said, “And, then we used this knowledge to build on it, and build some more. I suppose it will only truly get boring when we  have nothing to keep us curious. Thinker & Tinkers!”

This was probably the conversation that inspired me to read about Nicholas Copernicus.

I have often marveled at how Thinking Mankind figured out our place in the Cosmos, the fact that Earth  is round, rotates on its axis, and so much more. After all, there were no spacecraft beaming pictures back to us then. The irony was not lost on me, that had we not figured out these things, the spacecraft could not have been built at  all. How  would we  know escape velocities and  thermodynamic thrusts and gravitational pulls in the first place?

This year is a leap year, and a reminder that we can figure out when we need years  of confusion, and when we need to just  look upon  the years of confusion benignly  to  stir ourselves towards better things. Like Jane Austen said:

“Only when our clever brain and our human heart work together in harmony can we achieve our true potential.”  – Jane Austen

Posts referenced in this post:

Books:

Candles in the Dark

I remember talking to a man who was our van driver in the Yucatan peninsula. His theories were astounding, and he seemed to have scoured the internet for the plausible and marvelous, completely ruling out the possibilities of evolution and what science proved to us. He was obviously a man whose love for the marvelous made him an interesting story-teller, and was probably well-received  at parties.

Here is a clip from his conversation:
’Ah! Evolution. I don’t believe in evolution as a theory. I have a theory’, said the van driver. ‘My theory is that aliens are responsible for life on earth. I think that the aliens had tried to see if life can flourish on Earth with dinosaurs.’
Four second pause.
‘And then they found them too big. The dinosaurs were too big, you know? I think that the asteroid that hit the Earth was nothing but a nuclear bomb sent by aliens. You see it all the time, don’t you?’

‘Eh… What do I see all the time?’ I asked. I have to come clean and admit that I don’t see dinosaurs all the time. Or aliens if you come to think of it, and definitely hope not to see nuclear bombs sent by the unseen aliens to hit the now extinct dinosaurs. I like a quiet life.

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I felt sorry for the man. His mind was after all curious, and he was obviously in awe of the marvelous. He wanted to know what happened to the dinosaurs, he wanted to know how we came to be. A Science education, half-heartedly imparted in the faraway days of his youth were hardly enough for him to find and keep the wonder in Science. Moreover, Science was a demanding master. Every hypothesis required proofs, validation by peers. It all proved too much for the man. He was happy enough believing that an alien race came and bombarded Earth with their nuclear missiles when they felt dinosaurs were of no use to them. We could do the same to another planet, couldn’t we?

I am currently reading Science as a Candle in the Dark – In a Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan.

In his usual manner Carl Sagan had hit the problem on its head:
We have arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements – transportation, communications, and all other industries; agriculture, medicine, education, entertainment, protecting the environment; and even the key democratic institution of voting – profoundly  depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster.  ”

I found myself nodding along as I read: One the one hand, while we know about Machine Learning and how it is used to change our ways  of life, we do not always understand all the variables involved and how each value affects the outcomes. We do not really know the chemistry behind the medicines we take and why they work  on our biological systems, and so much more.

On the other hand, somebody had shared yet another spurious discourse given by a religious figure. This time, the man spoke glibly – his half baked theories about the nature of the Universe had his audience enthralled. The man spluttered forth a jumble of high-sounding words, and the audience cheered and applauded.

Again, the audience was looking for nothing more than understanding a complex world. A world made more complex everyday with our technologies and applications.

The truth is the world is a complicated place. Grants determine research, enabling rich businesses and corporations to drive and set the tone for research (Remember the studies where the Sugar industry completely misguided the population by funding research related to Fats instead? ) Big money corporations also have the ability to have their own research facilities, and they are not always going to watch out for the common man. (Privacy concerns by Ethicist Tristan Harris – the  former employee at Google)

More than ever, we need to find a way to incorporate Science as a way of life, and equip ourselves with Baloney Detection Kits as Carl Sagan named them. We need to enlighten ourselves – maybe light ourselves a candle in the dark.

Books: Science  as a Candle in the Dark – Demon Haunted  World – By  Carl Sagan

 

The Man Who Deciphered the Heavens

I wonder often how humanity figured out things like the Earth revolving around the sun while rotating on its tilted axis every 24 hours. Questions such as our place in the Cosmos, and our understanding of it have wracked humanity for centuries. Religions sought to answer some of these questions through myths and erroneous theories. One man though, was instrumental in moving us from a geo-centric to a helio-centric model.

How one man figured out the vastness of the Universe by contemplating the night skies with his naked eye and working diligently to find the accompanying Mathematical proof is a story well worth reminding ourselves of again.

Nicholas Copernicus was born on Feb 19th 1473, and he died in May, 1543. He was born during the times when the pseudoscience of Astrology and the science of Astronomy were regarded as one and the same. Even then, in his letters, he seems to have warned humanity against believing the astrological predictions based on appearance of comets, and planets, since there was no proof linking our own futures and the astrological happenings in the heavens.

Little is known about the man who revolutionized our understanding of the Cosmos. Copernicus was the Healing Physician for the Bishop, and the Canon (an administrator) for the Catholic Church. His private passion, though, was understanding the Cosmos and our place in it. It is poetic to imagine the man standing and observing the night skies for decades almost every night in Torun somewhere in modern day Poland, figuring out what the Ptolemic system got right, understanding Pythagorean Mathematics, scouring books of scientific interest when he had little access to them. Where they were gaps in the current understanding he fearlessly questioned never resting till he came up with a satisfactory explanation and the Mathematics required to support his own hypothesis. Copernicus expanded his initial calculations through rigorous observations all done with the naked eye. (Galileo’s ’spyglass’ as he called his early telescopes would not be available till 1610.)

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By Theodor de Bry – Uni Mannheim Mateo (Mannheimer Texte Online); Source [1]; Image:[2], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2976063
Though he confided his findings to a few close friends, he was worried about the backlash from the Catholic Church. After all, religion put Earth at the center of the universe, and mythology made the sun ride his chariot to give us life everyday. It would have been dangerous to go all out and refute all theories at once. Man’s place in the Universe would suddenly not just become less grandiose, but downright humbling. We are small specks who happened to evolve into intelligent life on a tiny planet revolving around the sun? The very idea was scary.

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Figure of the heavenly bodies — An illustration of the Ptolemaic geocentric system by Portuguese cosmographer and cartographer Bartolomeu Velho, 1568 (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris)

Finally, his friends, most persistent among them, mathematician, Georg Joachim Rheticus, convinced him to publish his volumes after checking and double checking the validity of the Mathematics accompanying his proofs. Slowly leading up to the theory of Earth being one of the planets revolving around the Sun, De revolutionizes orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres) was published by a house in Nuremberg in modern day Germany.

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By Nicolaus Copernicus – Commons file De_Revolutionibus_manuscript_p9b.jpg, Public Domain, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58001466

Copernicus died almost as soon as his book was printed, and the book would have languished in the corners never to be read, had Johannes Kepler and Galileo Galilei not taken it up again. In many ways, what Copernicus feared would happen to him happened to Kepler and Galileo. They bore the brunt of the Christian Church for overturning their understanding of the world and our importance in it. But the book paved the way for further scientific research.

From Newton’s Theory of Relativity to our current forays into Space with telescopes sending us newer images of galaxies far far away, to the detection of gravitational waves, we are now in a constant state of wonder and on the cusp to more wondrous advances, all thanks to one man. One man, who believed that he could unearth the truth if he stuck with the problem, one man whose friends kept him honest and took the time to support and understand his work.

Books:

  • A More Perfect Heaven – How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos – By Dava Sobel
  • The Book that Nobody Read – Chasing the Revolutions of Nicholas Copernicus – By Owen Gingrich
  • De revolutionizes orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres) _ by Nicholas Copernicus

The Wonder Formula

Someone told me once that we lose the joy and wonder in things as we knew more and more about how things work. If we knew the conditions were right for a rainbow to form, or the planets will shine in the evening skies brighter than usual, we seem to expect them, and then lost the magic of it all.

I have pondered on that often – could adding a pleasurable anticipation make up for the lost serendipity? As we watch the bleak skies of the winter, we can wait and feel the weight of the buds in the spring snowflake 🌱 plants, or watch the tulips bulbs shoot up from the Earth admiring their sense of timing, can’t we?.

While, waiting for the rains to subside, we can nurse a secret longing for a rainbow – I know I do.

Aside from all else, what isn’t lovely about a World that has rainbows? Maybe on other planets, with different atmospheric makeups than our own, rainbows themselves manifest differently or not at all, but it is comforting to know the colors of the rainbow and their perfect arc will be this way on this Earth as long as the suns rays can diffract the light in the moisture laden droplets.

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One day during the Winter holidays, I got to sit in a beach. It being the rainy season, there weren’t as many people around. There were a few beach lovers, so we curled up our beach towels and all set to greet the noisy seagulls. There I sat watching the Atlantic ocean with my umbrella open, sitting on a Mickey Mouse towel with a book in hand.

It was a few minutes afterward that we discerned the rainbow forming in the sky. How marvelous and wondrous an experience to watch the rainbow go from a faint smearing of smudged colors as though making up its mind whether to come out in all its glory or not; and then watch a colorful, bright rainbow full of the conviction of Being play on the horizon. The son came running across from where he was playing, flush with excitement pointing at the rainbow -🌈 “I knew it will come now.”

Sometimes, I wonder why we cannot be like children. Even though, they know the hows and whys behind things, they still retain Shoshin: the Zen concept of wonder as in a beginner’s mind. I smiled and patted him to sit next to me and take in the rainbow 🌈 with me.

After a while, he went back to playing in the ocean waves with his sister. I sat there, nourishing my musings with whimsy. I remembered some drawings of the daughter when she was much younger. Dolphins leapt out of the seas, with a rainbow arc-ed beautifully around them. Of course, children imagine the best possible things together – there isn’t any dearth or rationing in their imaginary worlds, is there?

Because when you are imagining, you might as well imagine something worth while.” as Anne of Green Gables would say.

The dolphins may get to see rainbows, but the fish do not. But maybe their world is marvelous enough with a thousand prickling and tricks of light that the water medium presents to them.

Musing in a world of rainbows is nothing short of magical even if I do know the concept of light refracting and producing the colors of a rainbow. My heart still lifts.

I had been traveling during the past few weeks. One such time on my sojourns, I left my home amidst brown hills. The summer sun had toasted the hillsides, and I yearned for a little respite to the eyes. In the two weeks that I was out, the rains had lashed the area liberally, and when I came back, the hillsides had turned a marvelous green. The rolling hills lifted their misty veils every morning, and I felt my heart pound with the magic of it all. Yes, I knew the rains make the grass grow, but the transformation is still a miracle that my heart waits for every year.

When I watch the dew drops glisten on the spring snowflakes,
When I watch the rainbow makes up its mind and throw itself like a garland across the skies
When I watch the eight-legged marvels creations catch in the sunset
When I watch the waves lap and play with the sandpipers

I feel hope stir in the spirits
I feel decisive and conviction in Being
I feel solitude’s gift can be tangible and needs to be nurtured for its fragile state
I feel engaged with the planet and all its gifts

I recently read a book bySasha Sagan, that is full of the joy of being. Titled: For Small Creatures Such as We: Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World, the book immediately caught my attention and I savored its many truths and facts about our rituals and festivals – the meaning behind life’s celebrations.

“My parents taught me that the provable, tangible, verifiable things were sacred, that sometimes the most astonishing ideas are clearly profound, but when they get labeled as “facts”, we lose sight of their beauty. It doesn’t have to be this way. Science is the source of so much insight worthy of ecstatic celebration.” – Sasha Sagan

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I was also reminded of Richard Feynman’s meditations on 🌺 flowers.

Ode to a Flower – By Richard Feynman.

There is beauty in knowledge, and wonder in anticipation. We just need a formula linking the two now.

For Small Creatures Such as We ( Sasha Sagan )

As I set out the kanu leaves in the backyard on a bitingly cold morning , the rain drops from the trees above dripped onto my back. When one refers to shivers down the spine, I suppose that is a literal enough description. I charged back into the warmth of the kitchen multiple times as I drew out the squiggly lines with rice flour – quick kolams to appease whom or what I did not know. I am not one for following rituals every much, but some how I like this one.

Kanu Pongal – Celebrated during Makara Sankranthi

Rains are lashing the Earth, and I am grateful. Last week, we celebrated the Indian version of Thanksgiving, Makara Sankranthi – the beautiful festival thanking Mother Earth for providing us with plentiful food, a nourishing environment, and so much more.

Kanu is typically celebrated by having the daughters in the family set the morning kanu for two reasons: (1) our forbears supposedly come and eat the offerings as crows, (2) the girls pray for the well-being of their brothers, who then give them gifts for their prayers and wishes.

In our feminist household of course, we have long since modified the ritual. It isn’t just the women who set out the kanu for the brothers – we all set the kanu and pray for our siblings’ well-being. We celebrate not just gratitude to Mother Earth for feeding our rather populous brood of humanity with her harvests, but also for the gift of sibling love in this large world.

Coincidentally, I picked up the book, For Small Creatures Such as We, By Sasha Sagan. (The daughter of Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan). After all, her father’s Cosmos book and her parents’ TV show, Cosmos, still has me ringing with the Joy of Existence every time I dip my feet into the “shores of the cosmic ocean“.

Sasha Sagan’s book does not disappoint. She says, and I quote:
Beneath the specifics of all our beliefs, sacred texts, origin stories, and dogmas, we humans have been celebrating the same two things since the dawn of time: astronomy and biology.

I sat there savoring that sentence for its simple truth, and elegant choice of words. Festivals and rituals are our ways of making sense of ourselves with respect to the larger cosmos – and her book marvelously outlined rituals and festivals in various parts of the world in different cultures and religions.

Discerning the sentiments behind the rituals is a particularly savory task, partly because I have a healthy skepticism about the Gods, and oscillate between being a secular agnostic and a believer. For those who are Secular in outlook, Sasha Sagan’s book is a marvelous read. It encourages us to come up with our own models for celebrating life in this cosmos.

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That cold morning as I set out the kanu, I wondered, not for the first time, why we set out cooked rice pongal for the crows. Is it to acknowledge our evolution as mankind to be where we are? Using fire to cook, was probably the single biggest leap in our journey, followed by becoming agriculturists from the hunter/gatherer mode. How different would everything have been if these two had not happened?

I especially thought of the brilliant poem she had referenced in the book by Vietnamese Zen Master, Thích Nhất Hạnh :
In this plate of food,
I see clearly
the presence of the entire universe
supporting my existence.

I also read a poem by Mary Oliver on Rice in the book. Blue Iris, and together with the books For Small Creatures Such as We, and Cosmos, it makes for a marvelous way to start the decade.

Rice – A Poem by Mary Oliver

It grew in the black mud.
It grew under the tiger’s orange paws.
Its stems thicker than candles, and as straight.
Its leaves like the feathers of egrets, but green.
The grains cresting, wanting to burst.
Oh, blood of the tiger.

I don’t want you to just sit at the table.
I don’t want you just to eat, and be content.
I want you to walk into the fields
Where the water is shining, and the rice has risen.
I want you to stand there, far from the white tablecloth.
I want you to fill your hands with mud, like a blessing.

As more and more of us move towards urban hubs for living, the less we realize all that happens to make food available for us to consume. How many of us have seen rice plants, or coffee plants or pepper vines – actually even if we have, how many of us consciously think of the journey from farm to table in its cooked form?

It is truly an enterprise of staggering proportions to realize how much has to happen for smooth functioning of Society, and it is lovely to read a book that is so full of joie-de-vivre

I like the concept of  thanking Mother Earth for her bountiful gifts to life (Did I mention this already?). When it starts off with fierce winds ripping branches from your backyard trees, followed by glimpses of sunlight illuminating the clouds during the sunrise, followed by mild rain, and then seeing a glorious double rainbow; what is not there to feel thankful about?

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Books:

Teachable Moments

I was telling the husband casually about a friend of mine. “She is thinking of taking up primary school teaching.”

“Huh?! Really?” said the son, his ears twiddling, for the news interested him. He loved this particular aunt.

“Well – maybe I should tell her the best grades to teach then!” said he.

“What do you mean the best grades to teach? ” I said cautiously for I felt a moment to savor coming on in my bones, but acted as nonchalant as possible. “Elementary school teaching – doesn’t that mean kids in your school?”

“Well, you know how it is? We aren’t all just cute kids like you think Amma! There are some grades you want to be careful with.” he said with a meaningful look in his eyes.

“What do you mean? I’ve seen you children in Elementary School – so sweet you all are!” I said – knowing fully well the reaction this would elicit.

“Ha! Okay, okay – I’ll tell you. Kindergarteners are naughty, 1st graders are okay, 2nd graders are rowdy, 3rd graders are sassy, 4th graders think everything is lame, and 5th graders are okay.”

I stifled a hearty laugh for the moment, and asked him, “So only 1st and 5th grades are okay to teach huh?!”

“Yep! Pretty much! ” he said.

I gave into a full throated laugh, not for the first time admiring and thanking all the stellar teachers of the Naughty, Sassy, Rowdy, and Think-Everything-Is-Lame children. Somehow, these magicians strive to make students of them all.

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Later that evening, the daughter came moaning into the kitchen – “Gosh! There is just so much homework! I mean – these teachers think we are awesome, but we really aren’t!”

Coming hot on the wheels of the Elementary School analysis, this seemed to be something to be milked for its true worth. So I tried.

“Are you saying your teachers are poor things for trying to uplift you and so on?”

“Of course they are!” said she.

“Remember they were teenagers too once, and probably realize that teen potential is high. They do want to give you the best opportunity to attain your true potential!” I said, thinking of the stalwart teachers of the folks who make the 30-under-30 and 20-under-20 lists.

Yeeaaarrcccchhh!” she said. I am quite sure Yeeaaarrcccchhh isn’t a real word, but a guttural sound open to interpretation. After a moment she said, “I sometimes think to myself what my teachers must be like if they were teenagers today. ”

There was silence for a moment. A silence I did not break while she gathered her thoughts. This was going to be something, I knew. When the daughter thinks of smart-aleck moments, it is best for the waiting populace to take cover.
“My Chem teacher would probably be obnoxious, but not a super smart version of Sheldon. My Math teacher would be a shy but sweet kid. My history teacher would have been the low key popular kid who is friends with everybody.”

I laughed enjoying this analysis as she went down the list of teachers. And then, I asked looking as innocent as it was possible to be. “What would you think of me as a teenager?”

“HA! Not falling for that one – better luck next time Mother! Mother, who is long past her teenage years!” she said, ruffling my head like I was a cute dog, and made off for her room to tackle the oodles of homework her stellar teachers had set out for her.

As a child I was keenly aware of both sides of the coin. Both my parents were teachers, but that did not stop me from becoming a dab hand at imitating my teachers, and giving them fond pet-names when required. The father and I enjoyed the creativity there.

All in all, I know in the name of professionalism and growing up, we lose this marvelous trait of making light of things, but I wish we didn’t.

For those who enjoy light tales of children in their schools, these are all good reads and worth chuckling anytime one feels the weight of the years settling in on them.

Some whimsical poems here:

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