Many times I feel the material taught to students is a waste because they don’t get it or they don’t retain it. After my introductory lesson on Confucius yesterday, I had my students read Canto XIII by Ezra Pound. I then told them to use their notes and identify the teachings of Confucius in the various lines of the poem, and they were to write about a page on this topic. Most did so successfully. Once again, I am reminded why I continue to teach Canto XIII.
Some fights broke out today. This is a common problem in high school I suppose, but I was still surprised. I wonder how kids who are so apathetic about education and improvement and their future have anything inside them they feel passionate enough to fight about. I wish they would be so aggressive in areas of life that would be of benefit.
This poem reminds me of the many student lives which seem to be lived in confusion and disorganization. I thought about Pound’s line in Canto XIII: “If a man have not order within him / He can not spread order about him.” I guess they’ll survive these high school days somehow, but some days I wonder if I will.