I came across this wonderful quotation in Tracy Kidder’s book Among Schoolchildren, about the year he spent in a Grade 5 classroom in Holyoke, Massachusetts (which I’m auditioning for the literary journalism course I’ll be teaching this winter):
Many people find it easy to imagine unseen webs of malevolent conspiracy in the world, and they are not always wrong. But there is also an innocence that conspires to hold humanity together, and it is made of people who can never fully know the good that they have done.
The book is masterful, both in terms of Kidder’s writing and his research. It’s one tiny heartbreak after another but a great read for anyone who spends time in a classroom.