Today I feel discouraged, but hopeful in my discouragement. Without these low moments, how would I grow? I'm trying to ask the right questions so that I might discover the right answers.

I feel discouraged by the majority of my students who lack any intellectual curiosity and front a total apathy to the world around them, confronting me with statements like, "Persepolis [the graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi] is boring," or questions like "Why do we have to learn about Iran?" I'm discouraged because if I were a more inspiring or articulate person/teacher, I wouldn't have to be bombarded with such attitudes. How do I inspire them to learn for the love of learning and to inquire for the desire to know? I watched "Harold and Maude" last night, and thought, wow, what spirit, what curiosity, what joy at the unending mystery and beauty of life. How do I convey that to my students?

For one, I have to live it. I have to be it. And I can't criticize my students when I'm not inquiring, when I'm not feeling grateful for every moment of being and every mystery of the universe and every puzzle there is for me to solve. I need to be inspired in order to inspire, and honestly, sometimes I am, and sometimes I'm not. It's like seeking enlightenment to seek that constant feeling of blessing and joy and gratitude for life!

And I'm discouraged because of the students I don't know how to help. How do I reach the students who don't try to succeed? How do I help the students who just sit there, tuned out, not seeking my help, especially when I have 29 other students in the classroom and 20 of them are raising their hand? How? I want to help them. I need to help them. Or else I doom them.

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