The child’s answer transcends the
limits of the mathematical question,
for the fact that “the polar bear is fat
because he eats too much” beats its
difference in weight from panda and black.
The three-digit figure can hide in the shadows
of inattention and incomprehension until
the kid needs it, instead of the test’s
iron-box moment that, though it may
determine the student’s progress,
cannot match the size of that one
big bear in its un-addable whole.
For thirteen years, John Zedolik taught English and Latin in a private all-girls school, and in 2010 completed his Ph.D., in which he focused on the pragmatic comedy of the Canterbury Tales. Currently, he is an adjunct instructor at Chatham University in Pittsburgh. However, he has had many jobs in his life including archaeological field assistant, obituary writer, and television-screen-factory worker. His iPhone is now his primary poetry notebook, and he hopes his negotiation with technology in regard to this ancient art form continues to be successful.