The State of Things

sausageI’m not sure what to talk about these days, except to say that I must be pregnant, because the kinds of food combinations I’m craving are completely, utterly irrational. I’m convinced that anyone suddenly struck with the urge to eat pork sausages with honey mustard while riding the bus is obviously under a delusion that only rampant hormones can bring on.

All of this from a wavering (but generally firm) non-red meat eater, too. I must be going to a hell reserved for mattress-tag ripper-offers, people who fart in public and blame it on their boy / girlfriend, and fallen vegetarians who were once smug in their self-righteousness.

I feel a bit shell-shocked these days, what with the most unbelievably kind remarks that students have been saying, and the rapidly growing to-do list that the move is spawning. I generally do not like compliments at the best of times, but being complimented on one’s teaching ability is extra painful. Now that I’m no longer a teacher, I can safely say this without the threat of someone using it against me in class: I know pretty much nothing.

Here’s a secret for you folks taking classes: every single teacher that stands in front of you is either:

  1. Completely full of him or her self,
  2. Completely full of shit,
  3. Scared to the core of being found out as being full of the aforementioned shit, or
  4. A combination of the above.

On most days, #3 would probably fit the bill, though there were days when #1 took over - these were undoubtedly red-meat-in-the-morning days. This is my confession: I would often find myself standing in front of a class, with the only thought in my head, “I am full of shit, and these people will soon find out and rip me to shreds.”

Teaching is not a good career choice for those prone to bouts of self-doubt. Need I repeat the obvious?

This isn’t why in some way I feel relieved to be leaving my position as a teacher, though I guess it’s a side benefit. The truth is that teaching is this cavernous black hole that swallows up all sense of time and proportion. Apparently it gets easier after three or four years, but the amount of time I threw at teaching to avoid giving away my secret (that I knew nothing) surprised even me. 14 to 18 hours a day, seven days a week, for eight to nine months. It was draining.

But, the summer stretches in front of me like a barcalounger with an extra large cup holder clamped to the side. There’s a gigantic stack of books piled nearby, and a sticky-note on top that simply states, “Read”. I truly will miss my students and my teaching life, but for now, it’s time to get caught up on some reading.

Now where did I put that package of bratwurst?

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