The Student

He acts it as life before he apprehends it as truth. RALPH WALDO EMERSON Entering an unfamiliar classroom for the first time, met by a cacophony of greetings, shuffles, and the flutter of unsettled nerves, a student experiences a particular strain of vertigo — a a kind of thrownness. Unbalanced, she glances about, wondering if her fresh peers are already friends, if they know or care more about the subject than she does, if the professor will command attention or beg for it. She wonders also about the subject — how it will stretch or resist or entice her; and what personal qualities, as well as intellectual qualities, she ought to bring to her studenthood. She must wait for an internal order to develop, and for the nerves to slow gently into a new rhythm. The experience catapults her from the grooves of ordinary life. She has the sensation of

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