Does the golf ball care if you have pink plaid on? Of course not. Will your students?
This is one way that a human is different from a piece of sports equipment. But similar too, you say?
For like the golf ball, a human student does really not care a whit ( “give a fuck” in old english ) about much of what a teacher does. What the student and the ball have in common? Bam! Impact. Moment of contact. The meeting of the minds. Shared spaces and thoughts. In short: THE HIT.
The ball waits on a tee, perhaps bored. Personification demands that we assume indifference as the player strides to the tee, chooses a club and goes through pre-shot routine. Even the swing (we DO have empathy with the piece of plastic technology, we know how it feels) is entirely irrelevant to the waiting, passive orb. Especially the experienced ball; one that has been hit more than a few times, will ignore all prelude to impact. Much as a seasoned and bored student will ignore much of a teacher’s presentation, even when it SEEMS so important to the instructor...
But then the club meets the ball.
The waggle has triggered swing and this torso pivot, weight shift, stretch to the sky perhaps, pause and reverse motions (the last the most menacing for those following the sequence), have all been completely ignored by the ball. How could it do other? It waits, unmoved. But not forever. The body moves the arms and the hands at the ends grip club arcing, dropping, accelerating with gravities help (christ! what is this ball THINKING about? Why doesn’t it do something?) until a very slight pause results from all of the focused energy being applied to the ball in the form of impact.
THEN we have a reaction from the inanimate object (“Oh,” you say, “there it is! The great distinction and insult. Comparing a human child student to a lifeless piece of equipment. Isn’t that just like a jaded, dead-to-the-core, pension-guarding, change-hating, responsibility-shirking, public-education-ungrateful-servant? Well, maybe. But again, the golf ball doesn’t care what we do, and that is a shared trait of the student, too. Even if you do wear pink.
Next time we will talk about “Why?”