This morning will be the last class to the current session of the eighteen-week intro course to alternative religions that I teach. (For those of you who are neo-Pagan and have a Thing About Payment For Anything Religion-Related, this is a survey course of info on various world religions, and does not teach craft itself. You have no idea how tired I am of explaining this.) This set of students is particularly special, and I’ll miss them. We won’t losing touch, of course; I’ll just miss hearing their opinions and thoughts, and watching them make connections between various mythologies and modes of thought from different cultures at different points in history.
I think that’s one of the most special parts of teaching: seeing the dots being connected, the illumination spreading across an individual’s face as s/he fits a bit of information into his/her world view.
It’s not for everyone, of course. There are hard parts too. Students come to you with problems, seeking guidance or the input of someone more experienced, and there are times where I freeze up and wonder how I got to this particular point, when I was assigned the position of mentor. What if the support I give is inadequate? What if I mistakenly point someone in the wrong direction? I know, I know; everyone has free will, and is responsible for their own choices. When someone places you in a position of trust, however, there’s a lot of responsibility that goes with it. (I have a feeling that very statement indicates an unlikelihood of misleading anyone; I take this too seriously. And somewhere out there, I know that MLG is saying, “You see? And you claim that you’re not a leader!”) Teaching is rewarding as well. I learn things from my students too – new information, new ways of connecting A and C (who says you have to go via B?), new points of view and opinions that in turn connect into my own web of thought and belief.
So, today’s the last class. I’m not quite sure how we got here so quickly, but there you are. I’m a little down about it.
Now I have to figure out how I’m to pick up groceries for tonight’s dinner, a parcel at the post office, and a birthday present, and still carry all my teaching textbooks, since my husband has taken the car to work today. And of course, my tea has gone cold.