Why paying attention during class is important.

I stepped over this creature will walking briskly through the woods with ten students following. Can you see it? I didn’t…

…but was alerted by my keen-eyed students. We left the copperhead in peace. Then, we continued our class with renewed mental brightness. No sleepyheads after that encounter.

8 thoughts on “Why paying attention during class is important.

  1. Bill

    I always thought the only way to get bitten by a copperhead was to step on one (they’re very non-aggressive). Well I disproved that earlier this summer! Recently I walked within a few inches of another one on my driveway, and luckily again did not get bitten.

  2. Anonymous

    I am ashamed I have killed a few of them. After being bitten at age 5 I developed a great interest in snakes and had great respect for them but bought into the notion that the poisonous ones were to be destroyed. I find them non-aggressive unless they are shedding or stepped on (or fighting for their life!). I would rather move a copperhead than a rat snake because of the much more aggresive nature of the rat snake. I certainly prefere to be aware of any snake be it is under foot as it always takes my breath for a moment. I enjoy watching them hunt and am saddened by any killed.
    dale swant

    1. David George Haskell Post author

      Dale, Given your personal experience (getting bitten while so young — an experience that must surely make the psyche nervous, if not fearful, of any snake) and our deep-seated genetic *and* cultural aversion to poisonous snakes, I think your attitude is commendable.

  3. David Ray

    After years of walking through the woods for work and play, I just this past weekend, while walking and talking rapidly on a gravel trail in the Nolichucky Gorge, put my toe down within less than a centimeter of the middle of a stretched-out copperhead (then leapt like Michael Jordan into my backpacking buddy beside me!). I was amazed that the beautiful creature didn’t budge at all, even when we turned around to take a good look at it. Magnificent, exhilarating, and yes, a wake-up call for the rest of our adventure.


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