When I am trying to explain to students why metaphors are magical, I start with love.
Humans are remarkable in their ability to live in both a concrete world of things and an abstract world of ideas. We are constantly moving back and forth between the physical fact of, say, this keyboard I’m typing on and the cerebral “truth” of concepts like…well…truth.
I love metaphors because they are a bridge between the abstract and the concrete.
Love, for example, is an abstraction we all have felt, sought, and acted upon. We do some inexplicably spectacular and stupid things when in its thrall. But when we try to go back and explain these highs and lows…it comes out as trite, corny, or awkward.
What is a meta-for? For these moments.
Love is a bird.
Love is a battlefield.
Love is a burning ring of fire.
Abstract to concrete. Abstract to concrete. Abstract to…Johnny Cash.
I may not understand love, but I understand birds. Feathers. Beaks. Eggs. Simple. Love is a thing with feathers.
I love metaphors as I love bridges. These structures that span the distance between two otherwise estranged points. Metaphors are the infrastructure between the mundane and the transcendent.
I long to talk about my love for teaching. For students. For the Signature program. Over the last five years I have been at the epicenter of a grand love affair with education. But how does one begin to talk about the love of your life? About the transformation they bring? How many love clichés can I string together?
I will never be the same.
It’s like we’re one person.
I’m triggering my own gag reflex just hearing myself.
But I have to talk about it…so how?
Show, don’t tell.
I could describe what Signature is, but instead I’m going to show you what it does.
For the next 6 days, I will share a different story of a student or moment that was made possible through Sig Love. My students are my metaphor. My bridge between the physicality of the classroom and meta-physicality of the learning and the love.
Love is a bridge. They will forever be mine.