I will now tell the story of a feeling I am sure I experienced for the first time; a subtle sensation shining at the end of a stick stuck in my soul…
Fall semester, we’re in class. In this course, which I am teaching for the first time, we have reached the middle of the semester. Now it was the turn of education views. It’s about idealism. I am at a point where I have to get into philosophy, where I have to be careful and sensitive. I am ready to smile at Plato’s magenta color, but after all he is Plato: We are on the shore of a great ocean. With our bare feet we enter the water gently, little by little. After a few explanations and a few questions, one of the students says something like: “The second time I readThe State, I thought differently.” Now I will have to stop “here” because I have not even read The Statefor the first time. “There” is obviously a different kind of curiosity, labor and many questions and inquiries. With a sudden decision, I turn to my student and ask him if he can give a short presentation on idealism to the class next week. It’s not a course where I give students a presentation assignment; I’ll take it as something external. He says yes.
Towards the end of next week’s class, I’m giving him the floor. We load the presentation on the computer, turn on the projector, close the curtains, make the classroom dark. It starts with a picture – perhaps the most beautiful way to tell the history of thought: The School of Athens. Okay, I say, that’s a delicious and clever start, and we’ll take it from there. The lesson fulfills its purpose: Students are engaged, the level of curiosity and interest is high, and the information is sound and well-reasoned. Class ends. I am satisfied. Thank you, we’re leaving.
A month or two passes. The semester is over, finals are over; we will take a break, take a breath, prepare for the new semester.
One day a notification on Instagram: Someone sent a follow request: My student who gave the presentation on idealism. This happened after I accepted the request, I followed him and we corresponded a few times.
One night I’m scrolling through Instagram and I’m on this student’s profile. I go through the story tabs he has created one by one. Isn’t this a way of getting some kind of idea about each other today… It’s midnight; I’m lying down, taking turns, casually looking at the stories: drawings here, drawings again in another category here, human faces from photographs, like a collage; anyway, this is a drawing page, she told me in class, she said she was drawing, she made a board in the hospital where she works as a nurse where she hangs her drawings, yes, but these are so beautiful, how does she draw like this, amazing!…. -I told you this the first time we corresponded, I was very surprised… -And then there are other tabs. Oh, a bird, very cute, it’s his bird; some videos… I smile. Then a black and white photo post with a picture of himself. In one corner there’s a clock sticker. It says 03:47 at midnight, something like that. In the other corner he wrote a text. He says that he can’t draw right now because he is busy with other “delicious” things. “Thanks to the book I keep in my bosom,” he says, referring to a teacher, he says something like a teacher who has an approach “contrary to the curriculum teachers”, he writes “an assignment given to me personally”. In the photo I see the book he is holding towards the camera, it says “State” backwards. “There are shifts, fatigue and insomnia, but”, he says, “it’s all good…”
I must have gotten up suddenly from where I was lying. What I remember after that are the vertical scenes – my exit from the hall to the corridor, my face in the mirror, my bright red eyes. I look again with embarrassment at the time tag in the post. I read the articles again: He tells me about the maneuver he maneuvered between night shifts, the “bend” he took, but also the pleasure he experienced in the meantime, for the assignment I had asked for in one gulp. The smile on his face in the black-and-white photograph perhaps hides his tiredness, or if he is smiling, he is tired, and if he is tired, he is smiling…
I feel like I’ve eaten something sweet, bitter and sour at the same time.
I seem to smell a variety of flowers at the same time: Those that burn my nasal passages, those that make me dizzy with pleasure, those that make me sigh, those that make me cough…
I seem to see all the colors at once: Bright yellows, sad beiges, pastel oranges, screaming reds, shy purples, flashy navy blues, dark greens…
I’m devastated by what a simple sentence of a few words that came out of my mouth in a flash has caused.
A share of our share of the positions we are put in life. Tonight, under the stars twinkling down from the sky, I am like a bewildered and slightly humble child caught in the middle of a surprise celebration for no reason.
I am filled with admiration, gratitude and a sense of gratitude that I cannot express in any way in the face of the benevolent cosmic formula that transformed his request, which cost him considerable effort, into an occasion of happiness with a sweet wit, and made him share in this happiness even though he did not deserve it.
I am churning in an indescribable mixture of these things.
In my heart, I see a human being crying on the ground in gratitude: it is me.
It was me…