Questions About the Ordinary


August 30, 2022- The students were asked to draw their non-dominant hand, to examine both front and back and to write down any questions that came to mind about the hand. This was all by way of the commenter explaining how great discoveries are made, just by taking time to look at things that one sees every day. He pointed out that Galileo, using a telescope that Italian military scouts employed to keep watch on intruders, managed to see the physical features of Earth’s Moon. Mary Anning’s curiosity about rocks on the beach at Lyme Regis led to her finding the complete fossilized skeleton of a plesiosaurus. She helped identify a skeleton her brother had found, of an ichthyosaur, and later herself found the fossilized remains of a pterosaur.

With that background, the two classes of 10-year-olds were set to the examination of the non-dominant hands of themselves and of a partner. Some came up with as many as ten questions. Others could not think of any. Such is the range of curiosity, even among children. Some are ready to examine the world and all that is therein-or far beyond it. Others are like the baked earth that follows a period of warm rain. While we ought give up on no one, a goodly dose of patience will be needed, in encouraging some to learn-while others are just late bloomers, who will eventually find the stirrings of curiosity breaking through, like shoots through a hard soil that is cracking open.

So many times, I have asked, with regard to an ordinary phenomenon: “Why is that?” As long as that persists, I will wake each day with a sense of anticipation.



August 9, 2016, Prescott-  This is a fine “home stretch”, thus far.  I have had dinner with a Young Republican, with a friend of three years and, on a couple of occasions, with several Baha’i friends, at various gatherings.  I have started work again, helping special needs children in the schools, here in town- first at the high school, before being transferred to Grades 5 & 6, for the needs of the District.  It’s gratifying to know that my skill set is valued  at the higher levels.  It hasn’t always been that way.  I am getting settled financially, as well, and will be fine, especially as Autumn gets into full swing.  Physically, my exercise routine is on track, and diet is healthy. The Fall hiking season is about a month away, and lightning will not be a deterrent to being on  mountains. Most importantly, I have ditched the occasional tendency to lapse into conjecture and innuendo, when dealing with criticism or opposition.  “Say what happened, and no more” has become my mantra.

I am working with troubled children, once again.  Their struggles are very much the same as mine, when I was those grades.  Like me, they struggle, despite having loving parents.  Like me, they need more listening and less “by the book” judgment.  So, this I provide, to the best of my ability.  I find myself vindicated by their amazing curiosity, awakening intellect and sensitivity to those around them, who are suffering.

It will be a full, energizing and revelatory year.