Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I'd walked West Philadelphia for an hour before class. I'd brought the students Insomnia cookies (hot from the oven, chocolate chip melt.) Once we were gathered, we began—critiquing the final five student memoirs.
We know each other well by now.
I will tell you a story, I said, when we were done—emotionally exhausted, grateful, glad. I will tell you about my son, who is off to the Big Apple in a week or so to start his first full-time job. The boy was home on Monday, I said. We were talking work. I was trilling the difference between good and great, between doing enough and doing more, and he stopped me in my effusive tracks.
Do you talk to your students like this? he said.
Of course I do.
And they still like you?
I hope so. Sometimes.
Wow, he said. And shook his head.
Never do anything less than your best. I say it to them. I caution myself.