Big changes around here. After an absence of going on twenty years, I find myself back in the classroom teaching writing courses. It’s been several weeks now, and I’m remembering what I loved about teaching. I have the opportunity to meet with a diverse, fascinating group of people each week and talk about thinking logically and persuasively–and then putting those thoughts down in concrete form. Each time I start a class, I find myself awed by the effort people put into showing up for night school each week–and I remember again how important it is to make each class worth their time and money. I do love teaching.
The other thing I love about it is the boost it gives to my own writing. The first assignment students usually get in a class like this is a descriptive essay. My classes are no different. I asked them to write about “Home,” and what it meant to them. I had meant it to be a fairly straightforward, simple exercise. It turned into a fabulous “getting acquainted” experience. Suddenly people all over the room were thinking of what “home” was to them–and what it wasn’t.
It got me thinking about my own “home,” and what it means–and how my concept of what a “home” is has shaped my decision to stay in a house that isn’t my dream house, in a town that isn’t my dream town, simply because to my son, it’s home. He has roots here. And when he’s grown up with kids of his own, I want him to be able to bring them ‘home.’ He can’t do that if I keep searching for the house I’ve always longed for. For me, the time to find the dream house in which to make my home seems to have passed. Too much living has happened here. Too much laughter, too much tears. Home has happened while I wasn’t looking.