great not good, students and cookies, my son: on the train home from Penn

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

On the train home from Penn, yesterday. The skies starting to lose their sun.

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.


KFP said...

I see many trips to NYC in your future.

Jeanie Ashburn said...

This is very funny, and very son-like.

Steph Su said...

No matter how unfortunately sporadic my visits to your blog sometimes are, every time I come here I see something that makes me smile, or think, or be in awe of that thing you do with the words. Love this.

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