Day 100, Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Two Versions of the Same Event
Day 100, Tuesday, February 24
How is that, on a day when my long-lingering cold felt worse than ever – when I felt more stuffy and feverish than organized and inspired, and when I probably should have been wrapped in blankets at home rather than leading my scholars through the last act of a Shakespeare play – how is it that on this day I did some of the best teaching I can recall? I’ve always believed that good teaching springs, at least partly, from the alertness and liveliness of the teacher, but today I felt more inert than alert, more dead, frankly, than alive – and yet some fairly adequate teaching occurred. Somehow, amid all the sneezing and sniffling, I managed to hold the kids’ attention as the final moments of the play unfolded. I actually inspired myself (if not the scholars), and when the classes were over, I felt somehow energized and uplifted. I still felt sick, I was still ready with dozens of coughs and sneezes, but the glory of Shakespeare was shining all around. How does this happen? How does an inspiring class arise from the fog and congestion of a cold?