The Snow and the Plum

The Snow and the Plum — II
by Lu Mei-P'o

The plum without the snow isn't very special
but snow without a poem is simply commonplace
at sunset when the poem is done
then it snows again
together with the plum they complete the spring

The crisis of confidence came late this semester. Generally speaking, it is about midterm when I begin to doubt everything: the way I have designed the course, my own competence in a classroom, the students' willingness to learn--well, just about everything really. This semester has been oddly different, In fact, it's only been in the last week or so that I have experienced the familiar anxiety that I am simply pretending to teach, the students are simply pretending to learn, and we are both pretending not to notice. The good comes with the bad in this job. Sometimes there is more commonplace snow, too few plums and far fewer poems.

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