Thursday, April 23, 2009

On Teaching and Ghosts

I never wanted to be a teacher. Really. It seemed the worst thing to be. My mother was a teacher who was supposed to be an actress. She was always very clear about the downfall of teaching instead of doing. But do what? To teach or not to teach....After graduate school I was still a waitress.

I fell into the teaching business much like I fell into everything else in my life. Happy accidents. I still don't know what kind of a teacher I am. I know (because I seem to still be aware of my surroundings) that I teach at the university level, but other than that I struggle with the idea... the concept... of teaching on a regular basis. Mostly I feel like a salesman. I have to sell the information well so that the students buy it. This notion of selling knowledge is unpopular in academic circles, but I can't help what I believe. It's America, right? It is all about a good sale.

I don't really know if I ever decided what or who I wanted to be. Childhood was so fast, and gave me brain freeze. Young adulthood was terrifying, and I had a kid at twenty two. I don't remember deciding to do that, but I must have.

Sometimes I think it was the ghosts. All the ghosts of the people who came before me propelling me to do the things I did. Not the bad things, and there were plenty of those... the good things. The stuff that worked out. I talk to them sometimes, my ghosts. When it is really dark, and I enter a room or a hallway, I frequently say "thank you" under my breath before I reach for a switch, as if ghosts can hear better when there is no light. As if....

Part of the reason I am creating this blog is for my students. The real ones. The ones who are buying what I sell. The ones who hear the ghosts inside my examples and who see them hover behind my eyes while I lecture. This blog is for them. Social networking is a no no in teaching, so for all of you out there who want to extend discussions, aka find out what else lives on the shelves of my storeroom.... post your comments. I will answer you, and then if there is a certain topic you want more information about, I can create an entry. Me and the ghosts who live inside of my brain.


  1. Suzanne, i love this. I am an avid blog reader and will be adding you to my list of must reads. Also, i had Doug when I was 22 too and dont remember the actuality of it...must have happened though, cause your oops baby now babysits my oops baby. sending you neighborly love and mucho confidence! -Kelly

  2. Thanks Kelly! I will be updating it almost everyday. I may take Sunday off ;) I am finding it great practice for proofreading and editing, as well as trying to be concise as possible. Best! (Don't we live right next to each other? Why is it we don't actually see one another? Hmmmmm)