The Silence After A Sigh

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There's something about these few months that defy words. A stirring bowl of emotions - waxing and waning, growing and receding, waiting - joy, lethargy, a fusion of minds, meeting fresh faces, saying goodbye to old spaces, catching up with memories - a period of change, of transition that resists easy description. So much to say, so few words.

How does one bid farewell to a familiar space where memories sift through every brick, every glass panel, every layer of paint? How to not tire of making small talk with near-strangers? How can one reconcile with the poems written in ignorant youth? 

There's so much to consider.

Is there guilt? About nurturing youngsters to be 'good and useful citizens' of a particular country? What's good and what's useful? Do goodness and usefulness necessarily coincide? Can't something be good but not useful? It seems as though the local education system is a factory preparing young people to fit into a particular economy that someone envisions. 

In the oceans of practicality and reasonableness, there are silvers of idealism, of people hoping to believe in a higher, more noble goal. Everywhere is grey. It's all about survival, about surviving long enough to afford public housing, procreate, raise one's genetic equivalents, then dying (hopefully with grace). Should there be any guilt to being so practical and teaching children to be equally practical?

And there's something ... heartbreaking ... when a student sits up and pays attention only after being told that the concept will be tested in the upcoming common tests. Not because he's interested. Not because he is curious about the world. Simply because the materials will be examined. How devastating. 

Then again, not all is lost. There are children who love to find out more about the world. They come to class, brimming with questions and excitement. One cannot dismiss them simply because they're quieter and less demanding. In every class, it's safe to say there's a bell-curve of attitudes.  

There's much to think, more than there is to write. Let's end off with this video of two elephants in an inflatable kids' pool:

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