Tuesday, January 03, 2012


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“The air that floated by me seem’d to say,
‘Write! thou wilt never have a better day.’”
     --- John Keats, “To Charles Cowden Clarke”

     Sometimes, when I’m in the midst of teaching a tiresome lesson, I often wish it was tomorrow or yesterday or any chance day besides this one, but occasionally I recall these lines by Keats, and then the day usually develops into, not an unblemished one, but at least the very best one for now. I’m sure I’ve spent thousands of minutes in my life wishing it was a better day for teaching or writing or thinking or hiking or holding a hot cup of coffee in my hand, when the fact is that any day is the best day it can possibly be. As the saying goes, any day is just what it is, and my teaching on any day is just what it is – just me making the best of whatever is given me, be it gold or god-awful mud. I recall an old Bible line about a furnace making gold from garbage, which makes me think I’ll always “never have a better day”, even on a so-called bad day of evidently feeble teaching, for there may be a furnace in the day’s midst, silently making something precious underneath the rubbish. 

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