Starting Over

One thing about being a professor is the rhythm of it, especially the returning sense–one that I have at least–that each new year is a fresh start, a new beginning.  I spend the summer repenting of my teaching the year before  (“…Who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first…”) and face the new year hoping for life and light.  But every fresh start augurs a new failure.  The fun, I guess, is in finding out exactly how I fail this time.  Sometimes the failures are qualitatively identical if not numerically identical with past failures–but somehow still new, in their way.  Sometimes the failures blindside me, revealing yet unguessed weaknesses and indecisions of character.   Oh, well:  self-knowledge is bitter.  (Is that a bit of grammar, or a discovery about how it is with me?)

3 responses

  1. A bit of grammar, I believe. This is my first year to teach, but I’ve worked many other jobs (I realize that means my rhythm isn’t as consistent as yours (yet (hopefully))), and I’ve thought these thoughts recently. I wish I were mature enough to think of the self-revealing-to-self process as fun (even as a guess), but I was (and am) able to think of it as interesting and in some sense entertaining. If the measure of grammar–or at least a measure–is whether we accept that a certain way of thinking is imperative, then this ought to be a bit of grammar. Only in thinking this way can I now go on (in my case: to a new job without despair).

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