Anticipation Stakes

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Anticipation is a feeling I have when the horses are racing, really when anything is close to the finish. Well, not the dishes. Not sweeping or mowing the lawn. Something new. Something unique, even if I’ve done it before. Something where the outcome is unknown. Like the darkening of an eclipse. Or the sudden smile on a baby’s lips after a tantrum. Like flipping an omelet. Even with practice, you never know how it will turn out. Or the end of an argument. The stakes are high there. Sometimes too high to start one. Sometimes too high not to try.

Anticipation

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Anticipation is a feeling you have when you walk into your classroom at the beginning of the year, the whiteboards pristine, the chairs and tables lined up just so. You start the first discussion, not knowing your students, nor how they will react to the topic or to each other. Inevitably, someone asks a question that makes you wary because it might be controversial and you don’t want to tread on toes. Or maybe you are brave. Maybe you test for fault lines. Or maybe you take the tried and true approach, saying, “What do the rest of you think?”