As I sit here looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday only as a block of time to catch up on grading student compositions and short stories, I take a break to jot down some of the things I’m thankful for.
Teaching is learning. The more I teach, the more I learn. I was thinking earlier today as I drove around on my errands about how I’ve blossomed intellectually and creatively since walking out the Corporate America door in June 2013. I’ve delved into literature, composition pedagogy, completed an MA in History (with tuition waiver as adjunct faculty), and explored Holocaust scholarly debates.
Going back to my roots. The Ancestry DNA kit sits on my dining room table and it’s on my docket this weekend to take the test. I want to believe that besides my Ashkenazic roots that I have Sephardic heritage in my background somewhere. But I’m also thankful for going back to my intellectual roots grounded in German and Russian languages and literature. I’m reading Kafka again. I’ve signed up for a poetry class that uses Rainer Marie Rilke’s poems as prompts. I’m grateful for programs like “Finding Your Roots” on PBS and “Who Do You Think You Are.”
Feedback from my readers. Now that my first poetry chapbook is out, readers are telling me how much they enjoy it. And, three of my college students have bought it. I appreciate the relationships I develop with readers, writers, and students.
Finding my own solutions. Whether it’s installing a new light bulb in the garage without standing on the hood of the car, re-installing my email on my Kindle, finding resources to back up my arguments for a scholarly journal article I’m working on, or happening on a low-point snack using my Weight Watchers app in the supermarket–I’m happy. Of course, I still need to practice parallel parking.
Having a roof over my head. To get Maslovian for a moment, I am grateful to have my house even though my accountant has been insisting for a few years now that I sell it and get an apartment. I am thankful for the ability to play contemporary jazz on the television while I write and grade.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?