I'm sitting in a raft on the Cache la Poudre River, snugly tucked near two friends with whom I used to teach. Their young sons perch at the bow, bubbling more with excitement than nerves. Our raft floats in an eddy on one side of the river. Across the way, seven other craft in this morning flotilla show varying states of preparedness.
"How come they're not ready yet?" asks one boy, pointing his paddle towards the far shore.
Joey, our guide, clicks his tongue philosophically. "Everybody has their talks," he says, encompassing his fellow guides in that pronoun. "Me, I figured out just to tell people what they need to know. Extra stuff just confuses them. We can figure out the rest as we go."
Something in the hibernating caves of my teacher brain stirs; I decide to carry this wisdom back to the classroom in August.