In Math this year we didn’t discuss
in light of the Fibonacci number
Or the meaning of life according to Pythagoras;
apparently, that would have been irrational.
we didn’t debate heavenly sines from above
or go off on philosophical tangents.
In Chemistry we didn’t learn
how to catalyze mutual bonds
or about the products that they form.
And it was never really made clear how the chemical formula of oxytocin –
actually has any relevance when you’re talking about
a chemical reaction
between two hearts.
English did manage to say something about
the mysteries of love
and the beauty in the struggle,
but it was all about the saying.
“Clarify, define, expound, portray …”
We never sat to ponder the indescribable
or what silence looks like printed on paper
or how the best writing speaks to readers the most
when it stops itself short
before it finishes saying what it’s trying to say.
In Spanish class the topic of study
was not if citizens of el mundo entero,
instead of a ciudad or país,
really do exist today.
And we never considered that the language barrier
might not be much of a barrier at all,
or at least not as impenetrable as barriers del corazon –
if, after all, acciones speak louder than palabras.
But we borrowed pencils
and shared notes
and sat shoulder to shoulder
We discovered how valuable those are who teach
and how to be teachable.
We reached for the guiding hands above us
and turned back to reach for the hands below us.
We questioned everything
then questioned the answers
then questioned each other
then questioned ourselves.
Some things are just bigger than a classroom.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.