Questions Today

It’s a cold, rainy, grey Saturday and I have spent the bulk of my day lesson planning and catching up on homework for my grad school classes. This means that I have a lot on my brain. I have a busy brain (as all teachers do, I presume) and I tend to meditate on things a lot. I wonder, I worry, I wonder some more.

I always want answers. I always seek meaning. This is why I want to teach, no doubt — to help young hearts and brains (and okay the rest of the human attached to those thinking, feeling things) along their journey through life to see, inquire, and understand the world in meaningful ways. But it’s heavy sometimes, because the truth is that I seek meaning and answers, but there are some things in the world that are perpetually un-answerable. I think this is simultaneously one of the most beautiful things about the world, and one of the most frustrating. We can seek in earnest and strive to learn all there is to learn, but still, always, there are some things that do not have easy answers, or may have no answer at all.

I guess what I mean to say, in this roundabout way that I always speak and muse and write, is that I am reminded today, especially, that I am a teacher but mostly I am still a learner. I am still seeking meaning and answers. I am still striving to understand many of the same things as my students, and I am still learning alongside them. This is the incredible thing about our communal humanity — young or old, teacher or student, regardless of race or gender or sexual orientation, we are all seeking meaning and understanding. When I find hopelessness in my ability to have the answers to these big questions, I turn to literature to find solace in something that is shared, and I turn to writing to release those questions from my own heart and let them rush out on the page.


  1. I agree, perpetually seeking answers is a quest we all share, but how we deal with the hard ones or the “unanswerables” is personal. I like how you choose to look to literature and then turn to the page to see what happens.

  2. I imagine that your feelings about seeking answers is a wonderful model for your students, and will continue to be. The students have them too! It sounds as if you’ve having a nice, cozy day.

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