Monday, December 10, 2012
GLADNESS AND GRATIFICATION
In George Eliot’s novel, Adam Bede, 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 fortunate that, almost five decades ago, I was accepted into this profession that seems, at this closing stage of my career, to be more like a restful pastime than a strenuous task. I love what I’m doing – totally and from start to finish. Even to think about my upcoming classes is to get a rush of eagerness and exaltation. I work hard at my lesson plans and essay grading, but it’s the kind of hard work a climber does as he ascends a stirring trail. It’s work, yes, but it’s also gladness and gratification. I almost feel ashamed to have received paychecks all these years for doing this sinecure called teaching, considering that my classes are filled with cheerfulness of the best kind for a weathered and well-lined English teacher.