Friday, January 12, 2007
Last night I felt overwhelmed, in a joyful sort of way, by the infinite complexity of my work as a teacher. For some reason, the idea again came to me (as it often has) that I am involved in a vocation that is boundless – one in which there are no starting points, no boundaries, and no guideposts. I felt like, as a teacher, I’m in the center of a vast region of endless plains and mountains, where there are a million trails to take, each of which leads to infinite discoveries and victories. I felt small and insignificant and even a little helpless as I thought about it – as though I was lost in a wilderness called “Education”. However, it wasn’t a sad or helpless or hopeless feeling; it never is. In fact, there’s an odd, ironic sense of ebullience and destiny in my thoughts about my role as a teacher. I feel like I’m footloose in a wilderness, yes, but it’s a majestic, magnificent universe, one that any sane person would be thrilled to be wandering through. I am participating in a grand adventure, an expedition with my students and colleagues that leads, each day, to astonishing discoveries. As happened last night, I often feel overwhelmed by my situation as a teacher, as if the mountains around me are utterly trackless and unbelievably high. However, I usually manage to calm myself down and see the bright and beautiful side of my situation. I may be lost, but it’s in a paradise many people would die to be lost in.