Day 114, Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I was deriding myself this morning for doing some dismal teaching, when I suddenly remembered the handful of students who had genuinely sparkled during my ‘dismal’ classes. It’s interesting that my self-pity had caused me to temporarily forget how impressed I had been with their comments during our discussion of a poem. These scholars had been alert, engaged, and downright sophisticated in their remarks. I remember thinking, in fact, that I should send them a note or call home to congratulate them on their fine work. It’s strange, then, how quickly my desire to feel sorry for myself about my uninspiring teaching made me forgot their first-rate work as students. Yes, I wasn’t the greatest teacher in the world this morning, but some of the kids in my class had been superior students. I wouldn’t win a prize for my teaching, but they should be given a prize for their scholarly work. Once again, my self-absorbed attitude (all about I,I,I and me, me, me) caused me to turn my back on the achievements of my students. While staring at the gloom inside me, I forgot about the bright lights I saw shining in my classes.