We do our best to plan for it each class and of course, the actual moment may not happen the way we anticipate. But in every class, it lingers in the back of our heads in the hopes that it will surface. We're astronomers out in a field during an asteroid storm, waiting for each and every epic streak across the sky. Bearing witness to such events are wonderful. A testimony to learning and its value. A recognition that learning is not just an internal experience but one that can vicariously lift many of us.
Steven Johnson refers to as "ideas having sex" in my head. It's this awesome swirling mix of ideas and thoughts, some new, some old, some reconfigured in ways previously unrealized. This isn't the same as the light bulb turning on--though plenty of that tends to follow. This is the point where I feel my understanding has just been pushed a bit further. I've been opened to few different ideas that are quickly interlacing with the other thoughts in my head. The neural web spreads, widens and thickens simultaneously and I feel it. The learning itself is powerful but the to be cognizant of it happening is even more potent. I feel simultaneously small in the face of so much I do not know and large in that I have just taken in so much more. I've drank my body's worth of water but still look amazed at the lake before me.
As a life-long learner and self-professed nerd, these are epic-win moments of my life; where I see someone else get it or that I feel my own learning happening. It's what I hope I always bring to my classes--an energy and excitement about learning that is authentic and engaging.
What about you? What does it feel like when you are engaged in learning or observing someone else's inner world expand?
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.