Friday, May 8, 2009

Puritanical Poetry & a Generous Thought

I had a really neat experience today. I am retaking a rather in-depth grammar class so that I can qualify to tutor for it (I got a B last time). Since it's only the first few weeks of class, I've been rather bored with the lessons. In contrast, the other students in the class are still struggling to remember everything their 7th grade English teacher taught.
Seventh grade seems even farther away for an older woman in our class who just came back to school. Today in class she asked for quite a few clarifications, but nothing the teacher could say was helping it click in her head. The difference between transitive and intransitive verbs didn't make sense to her, and she didn't quite grasp the idea of a direct object. The two sample sentences were "The Smiths lived in New York" and "The Smiths read the Bible." She didn't get why "Bible" was a direct object, but "in New York" wasn't.
I was watching her leave at the end of class, understanding why she didn't get it. I got the urge to just go chat with her, and to try to explain it myself. I hesitated, because she's my mom's age and I didn't want to embarrass her or anything. Suddenly, the quote popped into my head, "Never suppress a generous thought" (who was it that said that?). So I called her name, introduced myself, and... magic happened!
In trying to explain something I understood in my brain but had never articulated, she forced me come up with a much better way of explaining it. "The Bible" was being read, but "in New York" was not being lived. And, ohhh... watching it finally dawn on her was so awesome (grozny, lol). It definitely made my day. Plus, I have a new friend now, plus a little practice in tutoring. Hooray!

Okay, this post is pretty long already. HOWEVER. If you are ever looking for some good spiritual poetry, look up Anne Bradstreet and Edward Taylor. We studied them briefly in my American Lit class, and they are proof that good things did come out of the Scarlet Letter- era in history!
My favorite Bradstreet poem is currently "As Weary Pilgrim," but I couldn't find a link to it online and it's too long to post here. Just trust me... it's so good! It's about longing to be at rest with God. Love it. Edward Taylor's "Meditation 38, 1 John 2:1" is similarly wonderful.

Seriously. Look them up.


One Happy Family said...

I LOVE that feeling- when you can watch the light bulb go on for someone after teaching. It's the best feeling ever. :) You'll be a good tutor.

gTrue said...

Thanks for sharing! I think Camilla Kimball (prophet's wife) said that.

Ken2 said...

That is a great life sharing moment, Stacy! You are a natural, gotta say it. Not lyin'! (Ne tak grozny)

Ken2 said...

to est', "takoj" grozny.