Tuesday, June 09, 2009

"The Primary School, New Hope, Kasana, Uganda", oil, by Robin Weiss

Teaching Journal

Day 161, Tuesday, June 9, 2009


     Today, the last day of official classes, brought a dash of sadness with it, but, as usual, it was a selfish kind of sadness, the kind with a lot of ‘I’ and ‘me’ in it. I felt sad because I wouldn’t be the English teacher for many of these good scholars next year. They wouldn’t return in September to sit with me in my classroom. I wouldn’t have the pleasure of watching them continue to grow as scholars of reading and writing. I wasn’t sad for the kids, just for me. I find it somewhat sickening that, after all these years, I still get stuck in a small, egocentric place like this – a place where little me feels downtrodden and forlorn because I didn’t get my way. Why can’t I see, at age 67, that life is not about me, but about all of life? Why can’t I realize that, while I’m reeling around in my self-centered sorrow, some other human beings – my young scholars – are looking forward to great happiness at their new schools? Why does it so often have to be all about me? It’s disgusting, and I feel like kicking myself -- but that’s selfish too, because while I’m pay attention to berating myself, I’m forgetting that the universe is infinitely bigger than just me and my little worrisome world. The vast universe is beautiful and perfect today, just as it was yesterday and will be for all the tomorrows – including in September, when my departing scholars will meet their magnificent new schools, and a new group of willing scholars will take their seats in my classroom. 

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