The student begins his studies with the life cycle, as expressed in the tadpole. Using observational technique, field notebook and pencil, he draws a dot, and, in shorthand common to the kindergarten cohort, records: “It is vre tine.” It is very tiny. Subsequent entries document the development of nostrils, tail, eyes and legs — poised to leap.
The mom, passing the tadpole classroom 13 years on, recalls this notebook. She roams the school grounds: swing set, science lab, parking lot — its cars, spray-painted in shorthand common to the high school senior, announce: “Dun!”
She pauses at the grove of daffodils those graduates planted in their preschool days. She makes her own observations: “They grew swiftly. So strong. So brilliant. So brief.”