Thursday, November 13, 2008

Talking after class

Lately I've been getting home around 8 or 9 on Thursday evenings. I teach from 2-4:30, but I've been observing other instructors' evening courses--so by the time I've sat in on the first half of someone's class, I still have an hour-long commute home, often in very dark and rainy weather. I'm *really* tired on these evenings, but also a little wired (adrenaline from my dark drive, I guess).

Tonight I got home in time to kiss Elliot goodnight, and then I sat on the couch with Terry just chatting. For some reason, this is something we don't get to do all that often, so it was very, very nice. The best part of chatting was this: Terry recounted for me a conversation he'd had walking home from Elliot's school. The conversation consisted of Elliot explaining how he'd worked a math problem involving cube roots--how he'd set up the equation, the false starts and missteps he'd made, and how he did the whole thing without using any "materials" (he's a Montessori kid).

I'm sure that long ago I learned how to do whatever it was Elliot had to do today (I used to love math), but I don't remember how to do it, or even why it's a good thing to know how to do. But there was something very sweet to me about Elliot walking his dad through a problem that really interested him, and then knowing that his interest mattered enough to his father that Terry would remember what Elliot said and then tell me about it--especially when he knows that I don't get the math. Terry admires both of our kids' thinking, and his love for them comes through so clearly when he's telling me what's going on in their heads.

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