I am on the Internet daily, but usually not for myself. My online work is for my employers’ goals–research and curriculum-building to help kids develop literacy skills. I am very grateful to be paid to do this work; to a large extent I share these goals. But the workload is large. It can drain one from being able to regularly (as in enlightened companies) focus on one’s most important intrinsic goals–those of self development and expression. Thus, not many wikiness postings, compared to previous years.
And though I am an old enough teacher now to see the children of my first students in my classroom, I engage with them as vigorously as ever. Every class is a command performance, a long-form improv with set-pieces but no way to predict which way the learning will come, or which learning objectives will be reached. I still love the excitement of a good discussion. But riding herd on large classrooms of fresh young minds taxes the energy. And like any decent English teacher I’ve ever known, the nights include stacks of papers to grade.
This semester I’m also for the first time a worker in the teacher-prep industry, about which I am sure to have plenty to share, but which demands its own ample share of my juice.
In Elvis Costello’s words, I’m feeling “like a juggler running out of hands.”
The larger issue is one I am afraid to admit, but which is as undeniable as the warm smells coming from the earth this beautiful windy fall night, the earth yielding up its death beauty: encroaching age, diminution of life-force, entropy moved in for the duration.
Until the next message I’ll leave you with Walt Whitman’s “To the reader at parting”:
NOW, dearest comrade, lift me to your face,
We must separate awhile—Here! take from my lips this kiss.
Whoever you are, I give it especially to you;
So long!—And I hope we shall meet again.
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