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Families of Choice, mono no aware, and...

Ed Sheeran's "Photograph"...

Yesterday, one of my students came by to say good bye. She had passed all her exams with distinction and is now on her way to become a teacher. I am so proud of her. What an amazing young woman she is! I hope that she will never doubt herself. I enjoyed every moment of working together with her on her thesis. To be inspired by an intelligent, diligent, spirited student is the most valuable part of my life. My life as a teacher, that IS me.
Today, I shared another good bye with another student and I told him how hard it is to let you all go, you - my children of choice grown into wonderful adults - who I am attached to with all the strings of our shared memories.
Memories held in photographs.
In a recent episode of Arte's Philosophy I learned that the power of pleasure - beauty really - is that it snatches you out of time and place and takes you inside a timeless moment where thought no longer happens. The second you start interpreting and analyzing, that pleasure will dissolve into artificial beauty, aesthetics, taste perhaps, or preference.
But the magic is gone.
How can I, the thinker by nature and profession, maintain the magic of true happiness? We don't have the means to freeze time. Is mono no aware indeed the way to live (in) the world? Recognize happiness before it hits you, taste from what is emerging and mourn its disappearance before you even have taken it all in?
I hope that all of you who are leaving this year (behind) have magical moments to cherish or - when you open that text book to teach your high school students English next year - the memory of how our thoughts, words and actions sparkled in order to light the world.
If you are lucky, you will find between the pages that one photograph of time frozen still, eyes open, heart never broken...


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