Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"But Georgiana entreated me to stay..." Jane Eyre

I have lost a great deal of faith in this school where I teach English.

Apparently, my Chairperson of the department has not lost faith in me.

This morning we had a tete-a-tete, and he handed me a teaching schedule for next year on a silver platter. He shared with me the history of his career, which was laden with moments of needing a break and taking breaks. He told me he wants me to be happy, and he handed me the best schedule in all my six years of teaching.

My head began to spin. I had American Lit Honors. It meant honeyed moments teaching The Secret Life of Bees, ethical debates whilst teaching The Scarlet Letter, and some good political conversation during literary discussions of Slaughterhouse Five. These thoughts were as refreshing as iced tea with fresh mint being sipped in the shade on a summer day.

The teacher's contract we received four years ago no longer allows a leave of absence for professional reasons, just medical ones. I found this out yesterday afternoon.

So, this choice was taken away from me.

I have to have faith that this path chosen is going to work out for the best. It is still difficult in many ways, and I am certainly not convinced that this will be my only career in life. The game plan now is to do this the right way; to stay here and get another Master's in a content area that would land me a position in a job much more easily.

Now the choice is, of course, what MA program to apply to! I am thinking Curatorial studies. I still want control over a DaVinci painting. It will just happen a bit later rather than a bit sooner.

This also means that I can perhaps relax and enjoy the summer a bit more without having to worry about interviews and such. More time for the beach, more time to plan Jack's first birthday, more time to do yoga, more time to regroup myself.

And eat lots of ices from Ralph's.

In the meantime, Miss Thursday Next remains English Teacher Extraordinaire, with chalk on her pants, red pen on her fingers, paper cuts from grading papers, and a sense of peace I find in the works of literature that I teach.

It took Odysseys twenty years to get to Ithaka, so I think I can manage another two years to get to somewhere like the MET.


Blogger David said...

The pattern of our life is kind of like one of those dot-to-dots. Only we're so close to it, all we can see is the specific dot that we're standing on, and not the full pattern.

You may not fully see what it is yet, but you're getting closer. :)

And that's exciting. But I'm not only excited for you, I'm excited for your students and for the other people who will undoubtably be affected by your life's work, whatever that may be.

"...I longed for a power of vision which might overpass that limit; which might reach the busy world, towns, regions full of life I had heard of but never seen: that then I desired more of practical experience thna I possessed; more of intercourse with my kind, of acuaintance with variety of character, than was here within my reach." "...I believed in the existence of other and more vivid kinds of goodness, and what I believed in I wished to behold."

2:47 PM  
Blogger afromabq said...

everything for a reason....those kids are still needing someone who's passionate about what they do. they're so lucky to have you!

3:52 PM  
Blogger Marty said...

American Lit Honors. Dear Sweet Jesus. The very thought makes one smile, yes? But being the Brilliant Literary Woman Extraordinaire that you are, you'll kick ass in any field. (smiles)

How does one get to be so frickin' smart? Tell me. I need to know. ;)

4:35 PM  
Blogger ThoughtsGalore said...

Honors Lit! Oh baby!

Come for coffee with you? We'll look over the water, read our papers, swap the sections, and talk about good stuff. :)

I'm thrilled for you. It goes to show you that things happen when they're mean't to happen. You are a wonderful teacher. I know this without ever meeting you. They'd be fools to lose you.

8:09 PM  
Blogger work in progress said...

David's dot to dot metaphor is marvelously appropriate (you know how I love metaphor). You can't go wrong teaching a class whose existance stems from the same seed as your passion. You have a plan, and are simply taking a scenic detour (metaphor!), but the journey will still be sweet.

Meanwhile, I kind of envy your honors students. Having a teacher with passion and a desire to impart said passion can make an otherwise dreary classroom into a den of sunshine and daffodils full to the brim with potential for beauty.

Teach on m'lady...I'm excited for you!

8:30 PM  
Blogger Night Flier said...

WOO HOO! American Lit Honors! Your next steps in your career and life sound like a well thought out plan! Enjoy the summer, what I wouldn't give for free time to go to the beach and do yoga!

Best of luck!

12:57 AM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

That sounds like an incredible schedule! When I was in high school, we took a course called "contemporary literature" that included books like Beloved, The Bible (only certain books read for LITERARY value), If on a Winter's Night (by Calvino), and many others. I loved it. You seem like the kind of teacher I would have really enjoyed having, so I hope that you get to enjoy your upcoming year teaching those fun books!

7:28 AM  
Blogger Imperfect said...

You're amazing!
If i could get a lit. honours!

thing will always work out for you!

7:34 AM  
Blogger Madfoot said...

Hey! You know what? This is a gift, and there is plenty of time now to interview, maybe do an internship, and network. It's the best of both worlds, Thurseleh. That vote of confidence from your boss don't hurt, neither. ;)

9:51 AM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

David ~ The perfect quote, indeed. I love the dot-to-dot metaphor! Indeed, I am getting closer, and I look forward to completing it and then filling the spaces with more bright colors! Thank you for your encouragement.

Popsicle Toes ~ You are right, everything for a reason. I appreciate your kind words, always.

Marty ~ You make me smile! You are a Smartie, so why are you asking me?!? :)

TG ~ Yes, we can make a virtual coffee date! You will look out to a lovely body of water with fish, and I will look out to a body of water with little sharks! haha, j/k Your words make me cry, you know. Thank you, Christie. xoxo

WIP ~ Oooo! I love the scenic detour metaphor! We should start a metaphor club...or something? :) Your kind words choked me up, too. Thank you.

Vixen ~ I will beach it and do yoga for the both of us! But you have to do that on the weekends, too, ya know! :) I appreciate your supportive words.

Ariella ~ Wow! You read my mind! I was just thinking how I need to place a book order for "Beloved"! Thanks for your suggestions and sweet words!

Imperfect ~ Thank you so very much for visiting Eyre Affairs! I visited your blog. For a fifteen year old, you write some amazing poetry! "Big Fat Snail" was faboo. Love the art quote of the day, too. Keep writing, keep writing, keep writing.

9:52 AM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Madfoot, through this all you have been my BIGGEST support system, and I love you, sweet coz. You are right - it is a gift - and this does mean I can do it the right way. I am still excited, and I am fortunate to have the best of both worlds, here. Thank you, Uno.

9:55 AM  
Blogger TheSugarV said...

At times I think everyone believes the grass is greener on the other side

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Ariella said...


I could probably get you a syllabus from that class, if you'd be interested. The lady who taught the class was truly an interesting scholar and she was always incorporating new books. I think we also read "Einstein's Dreams" and "The Trial." Both books made intense impressions on me, and I am ever so glad to have been exposed to Alan Lightman's writing at such a young age. He has become one of my favorite writers.

If I could teach an english class, I would definitely try to include a book by Lorrie Moore. She is an incredible writer and I think her prose style has a lot going for it.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Clearlykels said...

That does sound like a wonderful schedule!!! Also, my friend Dave said that teaching goes in four year cycles. You have one class you love, two you are so so about and then one that makes you want to run for the door. He is looking forward to next year. I hope you have many, many fabulous classes ahead of you. I see kids with eager anticipatication who actually ready the books:-) Good Luck!

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

This is a small obstacle. Those kids are so lucky to have you--so invested in what you do. You are very lucky to have found your true passion and even luckier that you want to go out and find more.

1:14 PM  

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