Today S. visited my classes at UK, as she had never seen me teach. Plus, we realized this week would be her last opportunity to do so for quite some time–for over a year, at the very least. She leaves for Bangkok and Hanoi on Sunday and won’t return to the US until I come back with her in early June–well after the spring semester has ended.
And although I’ll be beyond sad to see her leave, I thoroughly enjoyed her visit today. I wanted her to watch me do what I do, day in and day out, the routine of it all, the mundane details that in their ordinary way take on a charm and beauty of their own. Plus, I so love what I do. I revel in each and every student success and feel saddened by their setbacks and defeats. Certainly, it’s not necessary or even normal to love students as thoroughly as I do. However, I can’t help myself. Clearly, I’m doing what I do best, the work I feel most passionate about, the job I enjoy so much, it hardly adds up to labor no matter how you do the math. No matter the multiplication or division involved, teaching is always worth the effort. Hopefully I’ll carry my abacus with me into old age and tally students successes for decades to come.