Watching The Heaviest Blossoms Fall

Watching The Heaviest Blossoms Fall

A couple of days ago I was standing in my kitchen before a class with a couple of my students, Mary and Christy, and I was telling them about all the mistakes I’d been making lately, dropping balls left and right, and Mary, who teaches a desktop publishing class at a college nearby says, “Hey, those mistakes are important,” and goes on to tell us what she says to her class on the first day.  “You can take desktop publishing from anyone,” she begins, “but the reason you’re taking it from me is because I’ve got 40 years of mistakes to share with you.” So let’s get that straight. The teacher isn’t the person who knows more than you, not the master at whatever it is you’re trying to learn, the golden one who maybe you’ll be able to emulate one day. No, she’s just messed up more than you – and seriously, you can’t buy that kind of talent. 40 years of mistakes is quite a trek, and if you’re lucky, you’re still making them, at least I am. This last month has felt exactly like learning how to parallel park a big old clunker of a car with a whole crowd of people standing on the sidewalk watching. I’m doing it Lucille Ball style; hitting the car in front of me, then the car in back of me, over and over until the big car is reduced to a sardine can. Nothing elegant about it. Cue the laugh track. Of course I’m making every day mistakes like forgetting someone’s name or forgetting to call on a student...