I recall reading old stories about vast and splendid kingdoms – places that seemed, in my imagination, to stretch out to the farthest boundaries – and it pleases me that I now find myself working in a similar kind of kingdom – the kingdom of English class. I’m sure not many teachers, as stressed as most of us are, would compare their classroom to a fanciful kingdom, but nonetheless, no metaphor makes more sense to me. When we start each English class, we are entering a land that lets us see, if we choose to, the outermost limits of life – the land of great literature, and of our own immense but unrealized promise as writers. English class is about ideas, and all ideas, no matter how seemingly mundane, are vast kingdoms in themselves, immeasurable mind-nations that know no border lines. English class is also about words, and what word can be kept in a small container and not released into the untold kingdom where all words dwell? Yes, yes, I have to deal with the everyday, finite fundamentals of English – comma rules, the writing of correct sentences, the place of symbolism in a story, etc. -- but those are like little winds wandering across the great kingdom of ideas and words, a kingdom I’m lucky to come to each morning in Room 2.
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