Teachable moment

The teachable moment arrives in its dollar-store shoes & hand-me-down corduroys and takes a front-row seat. We properly interred citizens shift uneasily on our plush velvet beds. Why is the blackboard green now? Who hung that Muslim star map over our heads? The teachable moment brings laughter into the classroom, and never wants to do anything but play with the fingerpaints, which are edible now, they say, & taste like corn syrup. Look, a face! Red mouth, open, open. Angry hot grill. But the blue doesn’t taste as good as the others, so pour it on thick: jeering bluejay, jailbait, merchant marine. Swirl the primary colors together until they all turn to mud. Only the corners of the paper stay dry. Teachable in what way, we’d like to know. Comfort in one’s own skin is the mark of a mongrel. We are all strangers & sojourners in the earth; our name is Legion. American Legion. Why can’t the road crews spray that feral patch of prairie against the fence, that growth the plough’s steel scalpel could never reach? What have they done with our cypress spurge, which smelled so much like lilacs in lilac-time? Quickly now, before the paint dries! But the moment is gone. The millipedes go back to their homework, its evil twin.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

7 Comments


  1. The teachable moment is as cold and virtuous as a Bud Light. The teachable moment went to a yard sale and bought racial reconciliation on the cheap.

    “Tikkun, my black ass,” the teachable moment heard someone spit from the hedgerows. But when it looked up there was nobody there.

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    1. Wanting to learn is unAmerican. The teachable moment is a Trojan horse for socialism.

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  2. Damn, this is great.
    I will never want to be a “teacher leader.”
    I might mess around with this idea, Dave. The teachable moment is sick to death of primary colors and wants me to have my students freewrite in response to View of Toledo the very first thing on Monday.

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    1. Mess around all you want, Laura. I’m flattered. (You’re teaching summer school? Surely the regular school year can’t be starting already!)

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  3. Yes, it is. At least I’ll be prodded a bit into writing regularly now. Not by motivational posters, though.

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  4. the teachable moment does not translate well. in foreign ears, it is garbled and inconsolable.

    (and this? is brilliant. thanks)

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    1. Thanks for the reminder, Elizabeth — and for liking the post. You’re too kind.

      Reply

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