Sunday, September 06, 2009


In George Eliot’s Adam Bede, which I’m re-reading these days, the author says that, for some people, life is not a task but a sinecure, which is exactly how I feel about teaching. I feel incredibly lucky that, all those decades ago, I was accepted into this profession that seems, at least at this stage of my career, to be more like soothing entertainment than strenuous labor. I love what I’m doing – totally and from start to finish. Even to think about my classes is to get a rush of eagerness and exhilaration. Of course, I do work hard at my lesson plans and paper grading, but it’s the kind of hard work a mountaineer does as he ascends dazzling trails. It’s work, yes, but it’s also delight and stimulation and satisfaction. I almost feel ashamed to get a paycheck every two weeks, considering my classes are filled with kicks and gladness and rewards of the best kind for a weathered and wrinkly English teacher.

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