Sue to Mark 6
Thursday, April 22
I am so nourished by your letters. This "encouragement mail" has powerfully exceeded my expectations. What I have needed so desperately all these months is a quiet retreat, an escape from the crushing world of my responsibilities where I can rediscover and reaffirm the faith and values that I've built my life on, where I am free to explore far reaches of my mind that must be denied most of the time. Where I can embody - even if just intellectually, something of the self that I would like to be. I had that retreat once, in the college classroom. I have to be honest and confess that I miss it, miss it deeply. I miss not having to discipline students; I miss a sense of the students' respect for learning (not a given in EVERY college classroom, of course, but as I taught at night, many of my students were older than I am and had been knocked around by life a little. For the most part, they really did understand the value and importance of learning). I miss the intellectual level of the material. I miss the moments of delighted surprise when my students would "teach" me, open my mind to other interpretations, other possibilities, exponentially enriching the give-and-take of a real learning experience. But, my teaching was mostly a labor of love. I was adjunct faculty - just part time for all those years, and taught two nights a week when Rog could be home with the girls.