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An Old Teacher

October 27, 2009

I had a long visit with an old professor of mine yesterday. I brought my twelve year old who was awed by the grandeur of the event. As for me, I was amazed that my teacher still looks the same as he did when I used to work for him. He praised my new book. I wept. I told him about the hate mail I have gotten. We talked about his new book and my struggle with learning Aramaic. My favorite thing he said was that he was suffering from a kind of insanity, also known as grandparent-hood. Afterwards, I felt blessed and that perhaps my books are worthwhile enterprises — a rare feeling. I wonder why I discount moments like these and instead focus on all the mistakes I make and all the people who have not understood or liked my work.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2009 12:58 pm

    I don’t know about you, but I think I couldn’t be a writer if I weren’t always ambivalent and confused and second-guessing myself and my work. Maybe it’s normal to distrust one’s gifts since they so often seem to be a torment as well as a delight.

  2. October 27, 2009 1:41 pm

    I agree with Dawn. I’ve often considered myself a writer who hates to write-which isn’t at all correct. I’m a writer who has too much doubt until someone comes along and says otherwise. And why is it that good feedback always gets forgotten first? Very intrigued with your books. And how wonderful to visit old professors!

  3. October 27, 2009 1:42 pm

    I’m also going to link to you from my memoir site 🙂

  4. October 27, 2009 2:18 pm

    Thank you, I am looking forward to reading your blog, too.

  5. Ruth permalink
    October 28, 2009 7:35 am

    It isn’t false pride that makes us doubt, but perhaps we find it hard to believe that we’ve been given a gift. When I sing and people compliment me or when I’m teaching and students tell me they love my subject, I’m thinking, “But that’s just what I do”.

  6. October 29, 2009 12:27 pm

    Aramaic! I take my hat off to you — a writer plus student of ancient languages. Both big mountains to climb, isn’t it natural to have doubts about the size of the mountain we scale? I’d love to learn this language but I’m struggling with basic Spanish. Thanks for the kick of inspiration!

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