Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sharing Quotes

When I read literature I tend to be overly analytical. This is an ideal trait in one who is pursuing a Graduate degree in English. The problem is, I tend to over analyze everything. Job interviews, conversations with friends, random thoughts that pop in my head. One night I was pondering the word "quarter." I could not get to sleep until I looked it up in the Oxford English Dictionary, Wikipedia and everywhere else I could find discussion on the word. Crazy. I am simply crazy about words.

I began devouring Willa Cather's My Antonia this weekend in preparation for my MA Exam. I'd started reading it last summer and there is one particular passage I read at least 10 times. Not because I wanted to dissect it, but because it was so simple and applicable. I even went so far as to make it the signature on my outgoing email. (That did not last long) It reads as follows:

"I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep."

This quote comes at the end of one book one, chapter two. In the beginning of the first book Jim arrives in Nebraska. He is in the garden with his hands and feet in the dirt taking in all the sights and sounds of his new home. Jim has just lost his family, but in Nebraska in the uncharted newness of the land he is entirely happy.

This is how I feel about teaching. It is the one thing that I have found that makes me entirely happy. With teaching I feel like I am an important part of something bigger than myself. And when it comes to teaching and helping my students understand a concept or theory, it truly comes as naturally as sleep.

Full Text of My Antonia c/o Project Gutenberg

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have a comment/advice/rant? Leave it here!