as easy as looking up two definitions

Teaching can, actually, be easy.  I had a student come down for help on deciphering what the poem, “Those Winter Sundays” was supposed to be saying.  I had him pull out his materials while I wheeled my chair over, laptop in hand (because I knew what was going to happen).

We went through the poem, line-by-line, and he put the words into an image or story pretty well until we hit some tough vocab — “indifferently” & “austere”.  I followed my hunch, and he, indeed, could not guess what the words meant.  So, he looked them up on my laptop.  And then, the poem all came together.  We talked about how dads make sacrifices for their families at the cost of going unnoticed or being lonely.  We both stared at the poem, and I knew I wasn’t alone in envisioning that poem happening every day in the homes of America.  He left quieter than he entered.  That’s when I knew I saw a poem strike a mind.

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