T he first-graders sat respectfully on the floor of the gym waiting for instructions. There was more at stake than in this setting than in so many others because the sooner they could manage to sit still and appear to listen, the sooner they could get to the good stuff: they were going to get to play, damn it. I watched from the side and counted heads. Three students were absent from P.E. so there was only a sprinkling of bodies, really. Fifteen instead of 18. No matter. From where I was standing, I could only see a blizzard of faces, a veritable storm of individuals among whom I could only name a handful of singular snowflakes. If you call any of your fellow…