No matter how bright, most students have had a conversation in which a professor’s comments have gone over the student’s head. That is, the professor incorrectly assumes that certain knowledge about the field is already familiar to the student.
Even when the professor repeats her comment, the student has a hard time understanding. But when she reframes her comment in terms the student already recognizes (“Snow White,” “the mirror,” “the queen”), it makes a lot more sense to him.
The professor’s comment quotes Madonna Kolbenschlag’s book, Kiss Sleeping Beauty Goodbye (page 36).