Monday, January 8, 2007

Someone Goes Way Poetic - And We Like It - As a New Semester Starts For Many Of Us

My students sit in class like baby birds in the nest. Their little beaks open and shut as they clamor "Feed me! Feed me!" Like baby birds, they cannot work. Rather, I should say they will not work. They expect everything for merely existing. But mother bird can chirp her fledglings on only if they try.

I should not have to tell my fledglings that if I take the time to write something on the board, they should write it down. I should not have to tell my fledglings that they must try their wings and that they will most likely encounter a few failures before experiencing success.

Most, however, don't seem to care about leaving the nest. They expect their lives to remain unchanged. They are surprised when mother bird stops feeding them and they must hunt for their own food if they are to survive. At some point, after doing the best she can, mother bird forces them out of the nest. Some fail to fly because they still expect mother bird to continue doing for them.

Nature and life can be cruel. A mother bird does her best to prepare her fledglings. That is all she can do and all she should be expected to do. But her fledglings are oblivious. They don't realize that in preparing them to fend for themselves, I am showing how much I really care.

If her fledglings learn their lessons and take on responsibility, they soar. But each semester mother bird has new baby birds in need of her attention. She no longer has time to waste on those who lack the courage and effort to leave the nest.