Up until this ferocious Winter Quarter, I would have said a successful class was one without friction. After this week's temper tantrum and foot stamping (all the way to Dean's office), essentially the fifth (counting my own) in less than a month, I am left grinning. With so much passion about, I must be doing something right. After all, the goal this time is for me to teach my students how to think. Given the wails of protest and confusion, I might as well be midwifing 25 individual births.
But yesterday, as I headed in with a "stomach," I was shocked to be greeted by several smiling faces and possibly sincere greetings. Had they all gotten laid the night before?
Thursday is Right Brain Day, which is always fun. We did an intuitive exercise and then, again to my surprise, they all wanted to discuss it as a group and share their writing and insights. Many had taken the descriptive part of the exercise to a different level by creating poems. The temper girl, her defenses rivaling the US Dept. of Defense, provided great insight into nearly everyone's readings. The students at this school have a remarkable ability to support each other. It's a bit of grace that seems to glow from within. No one seems to mention it or brag about it; I hope the larger administration never notices it, because it's truly lovely just the way it is.
Maybe temper flameouts, confrontations and anger is not a recipe for failure. Maybe, like pepper, it's a simple ingredient.