And Gladly Teche?

“And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.”

That’s Chaucer. It refers to the Clerk amongst the group of pilgrims. Many of us who would “teche,” gladly or otherwise, find ourselves in similar straits to those of Chaucer’s poor lean pilgrim. But we’ll get to that.

As I write this, it’s 11:46 AM, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. We’re still in the midst of a pandemic. I’ve been teaching on Zoom for two years. The semester will be over soon, and I’ll have a couple of weeks off before summer session begins. I’m scheduled for three summer classes. Two of these will be face to face, and mask mandates have recently been removed. This is what we call in the business A Stupid Idea.

Right now I’m sitting out on the patio of a coffee shop. It’s a small independent place owned by a husband and wife. They roast their own coffee onsite, and the place is busy most times of most days. It’s one of four local places I frequent. None of them are chains, and one is a block from where I live.

So. Where to begin?

I never wanted to be a teacher. This was no calling. I had no illusions of empowering, bettering, or even helping anyone. I made a series of stupendously shortsighted decisions that led me to becoming one. My career, such as it is, arose from nothing more noble than the fact that I needed a job, and this is the one I got. That’s it.

At first I was killing time until I got discovered and landed my big publishing break. Later I thought I’d hang around the community college scene for a few years, maybe get a PhD, and end up with a tenure track gig a some four-year institution.

Thirty years later and I’m still right where I started.

My place of employ is a decent sized institution. It’s not massive like some of the schools in California’s system, nor some one-building setup some place. We don’t do research. Faculty don’t publish extensively. Hell we don’t even get tenure. Most of us teach our classes and go home. From time to time, some of us serve on the odd committee or the faculty senate. You might call this the view from the cheap seats.

3 thoughts on “And Gladly Teche?

  1. Well, there is something to be said of the view from the cheap seats. A bit more room to kick your feet up and lean back, maybe stretch your arms around the backs of those empty seats on either side of you. Plus it’s a view that gives you a chance to look at the game from a wider angle, better to take it all in.

    This is a cool start my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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