Tuesday, July 06, 2010

An Enchanting Life

I often forget how I ended up getting lucky enough to teach English to teenagers for 45 years – and I shouldn’t, because it’s an astonishing story. Truth is, a zillion pieces had to fall into just the right places to enable me to find myself in a small school in St. Louis in 1965, and a zillion more pieces have fallen into place in the years since then. Now I do my labor of love in another small school in southeastern Connecticut, and just how I got here is still a marvelous mystery to me. Stars shifted, possibilities rose up from nowhere, winds of chance and good fortune followed me here and there, and lo, I find myself still surrounded by captivating kids for nine months of the year. Are the kids always well behaved? Of course not, and neither, you might say, are stars or winds or snowstorms or sunshine, but that doesn’t make them any less miraculous. I live an enchanting life as a teacher, and I don’t want to forget it, nor how the universe somehow was good enough to allow me this life of learning and teaching. Some might say I earned it by hard work in school, dedication to my job, etc., but to me it’s way more complicated than that. The fact that I’ve had four decades of rewarding work and millions of other people haven’t remains an impenetrable mystery to me, as profound as the mystery of where exactly the breeze that just blew by me came from.

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