Teaching maths

At school the children listen to me with blank eyes
while their synapses are firing endlessly
about other, unknown things.

Then, when asked to apply what I
explained, they wake up, and get angry.

I explain again, and again, and again,
but my words do not sound truer with
repetition.

No, they seem to think. This cannot be right.
It is too abstract, too removed from their world.

They do not trust me. They do not trust logic, abstract concepts,
in general the adults
who, it seems, are trying to cheat or trick them somehow
or rob them of something or punish them.

They sense that they are getting
into dangerous territory, where anything might happen
and anything might be true.

Here is where intuition fails
and the vast darkness
of what is only accessible by logic
opens up.

But the children cling to the light
only a few years ago they were still playing
with puppets
and they were sung to their sleep
and now I want them to step
into the underground territory
of mathematics.

I am sorry, children.
Forgive us adults. We do not know a better way
to build bridges, and phones

and when we are dead
you have to build the bridges and phones
for your own children.

So please follow me into the darkness
and look how this function
plunges, out of your paper, through
the window, into infinity
and back into your hand
unchanged.

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One Response to Teaching maths

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is beautiful.

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