the classroom as crucible

Some months ago, I had sad occasion to write a eulogy of sorts to the best teacher I ever had – Chris Foley.

In it, I wrote how he tempered me to take the edge of thoughtful enquiry (which probably sounds incredibly pompous and conceited, but if I have any intellectual sharpness, I have him to thank for it.)

The image was of the furnace, the blacksmith, the forge – and, at the forge’s heart, in the pit of the furnace, sits the crucible.

Most of us will never see a crucible of this kind in action, but I would like to suggest that we have all spent many years of our lives within a crucible of a very different kind.

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