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A Bit of a Ponder


A Bit of a Ponder
by Mark Lyons
     (Classrooms are beginning to return to a little bit of normalcy during this pandemic. This observation was made a few years ago when I was still teaching.) 

     Classrooms are empty now for it is Winter Break. The furious scratching of sharpened pencils melts away like new fallen snow on a Central Texas sidewalk. Echoes of excited chatter, often present within these walls, now resounds elsewhere. Busy minds ingest all they can, guided skillfully and carefully to new horizons. Often, caught up in the everyday trappings of educating, we lose sight of the very thing that drew us to this most noble of professions. Then something shakes us back into focus.

     Ponder with me, if you will, for a moment. Ponder? Yes. Pondering is good. When was the last time you had a good ponder? Be honest. It has been quite a while, hasn’t it? Well, except for third grade**. They always seem to be on a bit of a ponder.

     But I digress. It is easy to digress when you are pondering. Unburden your thoughts. Return to those yesteryears of your youth. I know it is hard. Some of us have more yesteryears to muddle through than others. No one said pondering was easy.

     You are back in college. Playing Frisbee on the Quad. Wind whistling through your thick head of hair. Then, you know, you have your weekly “I-think-I-am-going-to-change-my-major” meeting with your faculty advisor.

     “Well, Mark**, what is it going to be this week?” a weary, overworked sigh escapes from the advisor. “Last week it was animal husbandry and the week before that it was independent study. What is independent study anyway? Oh, wait. I am the advisor here. I should know. It has been a long haul with you. What is it going to be, Mark? That is your name, isn’t it? Or did you change it like all through your sophomore year? What was it then during your math phase? Base 12? Negative 4?”

     “Sphere.”

     “What?”

     “Sphere.”

     “Sphere……………………I can’t wait until summer vacation. Three months off!”

     “You get three months off in the summer?”

     “Yes, and two weeks at Winter Break.” (Actually, it is more like a month off in college. But for purposes of this story, it is two weeks.)

     “Cool………………I think I have made up my mind for my major: Elementary Education.

     Ah yes, the real reason we were first drawn to this most noble of professions.

     ** Some names and grade levels may have been used strictly for illustrative purposes only.


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