Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 221: Did I Miss Anything?

Likely the most dreaded question a teacher can receive is in the title of a favorite poem by Tom Wayman
Did I Miss Anything? 

 Nothing.  When we realized you weren‚t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

                Everything.  I gave an exam worth 
                40 per cent of the grade for this term
                and assigned some reading due today
                on which I am about to hand out a quiz
                worth 50 per cent
Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose
                Everything.  A few minutes after we began last time
                a shaft of light suddenly descended and an angel
                or other heavenly being appeared
                and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
                to attain divine wisdom in his life and
                the hereafter
                This is the last time the class will meet
                before we disperse to bring the good news to all people
                    on earth
Nothing.  When you are not present 
how could something significant occur?
                Everything.  Contained in this classroom
                is a microcosm of human experience
                assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
                This is not the only place such an opportunity has been 
                but it was one place
                And you weren't here

by Tom Wayman    


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