Answering a student’s question, trying to explain the meaning of “cultural division” in a text they were reading.  I offer various paraphrases until the student looks up, makes eye contact, and says “Feeling weird?”  Yess!  The fact that you heard the words, understood them, and gave them back to me in colloquial language means that for that one moment you understood it on your own terms and, what’s more, that  you engaged with the topic, perhaps even experienced a little empathy.

Also, “feeling weird”  – feeling that one is the outsider, as well as feeling that something else is weird —  is actually a pretty good answer, not what I would have said,  but it does kind of sum it up.

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