It was a small moment. In talking about it this way, have I overblown it? Who do I think I am, Obi-Wan Kenobi? "You've taken your first step into a larger world." Well, in a word: Huh, interesting question. Is that one word, two, or three? I'm not above laughing at myself to deflate some of the excess gravitas, but make no mistake, this laughing is itself part of the way. The examined life is the life worth living, and for holding this, I do not, cannot, apologize. Whether S., or any student will go on to "be a philosopher" I don't care to speculate; I certainly don't care a whit whether they will go on to "major in philosophy," unless it would be to urge them to be very sure they want to. But I do know that when a student can "go there" in those moments, I feel met -- on that even ground whereon, before the perennial questions, we are all equal. I recognize the light that comes into their eyes, an eros; I recognize it because I feel it (and by virtue of feeling it) in my own. It's a look of two silent realizations arising fast on one another's heels -- a thrill: I can do this! ; and then, a different thrill, or an adumbration of the same: What is this I'm doing?
The spark leaps. But must there be a "direction" in which it leaps?