"If there is more important work than teaching, I hope to learn about it before I die." - Pat Conroy, My Reading Life
We had about a half hour early morning session of (not) back to school pictures, so these are rife with imperfections. No re-do's at this school though. <g> I am happy enough to capture us as we are this year - grades K, 2, 5, 7, and 10 plus one mom who is also learning as she goes.
The quote is one of many I have transcribed from My Reading Life which I grabbed blindly off the shelves. I have not read Prince of Tides nor any of his other work, nor even watched the movies. The memoir thus far is gripping even without that background and I found myself unable to see the type for several minutes this morning as he shared the story of his beloved English teacher's death.
His mother instilled in him a tremendous love of literature, introducing him to classics by the armful. The first few chapters are tributes to these two great influences on his life. Definitely lots of food for thought to mothers who are also teachers.
"She read so many books that she was famous among the librarians in every town she entered. She outread a whole generation of officer's wives but still wilted in embarassment when asked about her college degree. She talked of Pasternak and Dostoyeysky."
"My mother hungered for art, for illumination...She lit signal fires in the hills for her son to feel and follow. I tremble with gratitude as I honor her name."
" A library could show you everything if you knew where to look."
"Pat, don't you think the passage of time is what all literature is really about? Poems, plays, novels, everything?"
"I think so Gene."
"Mr. Powell seems to think it is a dance. Do you agree?" (referring to Powell's 12 volume A Dance to the Music of Time)
"I wish I'd thought of it before he did."
"You walked into my class in 1961."
"Our dance began."
It is good to think about our own dance through time with these children. What will they remember? What treasures will they store up in their hearts and minds?
This is what I am thinking about this week.