Here was another rule: you kept your ego outside. This was a place where we would be brutally honest with each other but we wouldn’t be unkind. We wouldn’t be inhumane. The classroom was a special place. We had to work hard. He thought learning changed you. It wasn’t what you memorized. It wasn’t the capitals of the 50 States or the multiplication tables. It took you from blindness to sight. It took you from immaturity to maturity. It took you from certainty to uncertainty. It took you from stasis to tension. It was movement and pain and wrestling and you couldn’t have your ego too much involved. If you were cocky, you couldn’t learn. If you were silent, you couldn’t learn. If you were afraid of him, you couldn’t learn. This was hard work. There were rules about the classroom and it was a special place. It was sacred in some way. Good things happened there. And you had to be respectful of the rules because it was fragile, very fragile. The time to learn, the place to learn, the fact of learning was a fragile place.