Lessons – A visit to the Botanical Garden

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Im Treibhaus
Mathilde Wesendonck

Hochgewölbte Blätterkronen,
Baldachine von Smaragd,
Kinder ihr aus fernen Zonen,
Saget mir, warum ihr klagt?

Schweigend neiget ihr die Zweige,
Malet Zeichen in die Luft,
Und der Leiden stummer Zeuge,
Steiget aufwärts süßer Duft.

Weit in sehnendem Verlangen
Breitet ihr die Arme aus,
Und umschlinget wahnbefangen
Öder Leere nicht’gen Graus.

Wohl, ich weiß es, arme Pflanze:
Ein Geschicke teilen wir,
Ob umstrahlt von Licht und Glanze,
Unsre Heimat ist nicht hier!

Und wie froh die Sonne scheidet
Von des Tages leerem Schein,
Hüllet der, der wahrhaft leidet,
Sich in Schweigens Dunkel ein.

Stille wird’s, ein säuselnd Weben
Füllet bang den dunkeln Raum:
Schwere Tropfen seh’ ich schweben
An der Blätter grünem Saum.

(sorry, my non-German readers)

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Why is it, that sometimes the good lies just in front of you … and somehow you’ve always overlooked it? Blindness, bias, convenience?

Luckily, sometimes you are forced to open your eyes – and broaden your mind again.

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I had this chance lately, when me, my colleague (a biologist) and our 23 pupils went on a literary-botanical excursion to the nearby Botancial Garden.

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Looking back now I can’t retrace anymore why I missed out this place for so long! I am not really a plant enthustiast – but this place with its sense of wanderlust caught me.

The variety of different plants from all parts of the world, the overwhelming tropical green, frugal cactuses, elegant ferns, rows of strong bamboo, their perfect adaption to their environment.

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What I enjoyed even more – the tranquility and out-of-world-ness of this place … even when visiting it with a bunch of lively 14-year-olds.

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Happy to see them as well being caught by this oasis and its atmosphere – and the little things…

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… like f.ex. pollywogs! Their fascination with a pond full of pollywogs that captured them for half an hour –  a pleasure to watch.

Seing the world with children’s eyes really can be gift. “Unadulterated” – I found this word in the dictionary and it perfectly describes this invaluable (but naturally fading) gift. It’s this unfiltered honesty in reactions and emotions (often challenging), their unsophisticatedness that still leaves me with admiration. In moments like this I don’t fell like the teacher, but the student.

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There are a lot of times when being a teacher really sucks, when it’s frustrating and annoying. But then there are moments like this excursion and I know that it was and still is the right choice … So forgive me for getting so unplanned pathetical 😉

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