life cycles

April 23, 2013

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During the students’ morning recess today, my coworker and I walked as the children played. We were in our own little world, strangely so compared to my recent classroom-obsessed mentality, as we talked. So much so that our pace was unnaturally slow. Some of my students ran over at one point to hop along behind us. They said they were chasing us and I teased them that we didn’t make a very exciting object of pursuit with our leisurely stroll.
There was good reason for our transporting conversation. My coworker spoke of her fears as she prepares to bring an unplanned second child into a land that will declare this baby, for all practical purposes, nonexistent. I listened quietly, trying to understand what it must be like to live under such a real, and weighty, restriction. She began to cry. “I love my country,” she explained. “And now I just feel so uncared for by my own government . . .” I wish I could empathize more fully, but all I can do is listen, and know that I may never be able to really grasp the depth of such emotion. The irony occurs to me, as well, that I am pondering my own weighty possibility at the moment . . . wondering if the prospect before me, so wildly impractical from a Western, worldly standpoint, may in fact be a door that has been divinely plopped in front of me. Time, counsel, and prayer shall tell . . .
After recess I come in to give a science lesson. And as so often happens, the reality of life in a Grade 4 classroom proves to be refreshingly amusing, yet thoroughly significant, in the way that life with children uniquely manages to be. We were studying animal life cycles. Specifically, that of the Comet Moth. According to our Science textbook, this particular moth has a 2-week life span. During these two weeks, it has basically two purposes. The first phase, as a larvae, is consumed with finding, and eating, food. The second, as an adult moth, is consumed with finding, and reproducing with, a mate. In fact, it has no mouth as an adult, so cannot eat at all. If it is not fast enough in finding a mate, it dies without fulfilling the goal of reproduction. I was, as you might imagine, have an amusing inner chuckle as I taught the lesson. The students had their own interesting reaction. Gasps as I read the portion about no mouth. And exclamations of “Poor moth!” that it cannot eat. The other part of the equation, for grown up moths, did not even seem to register in their minds . . . just one of the many things I love about teaching this age group ;-)

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