Friday, November 11, 2016
On this day every year, I think of an editorial piece shared in my first college English class, an introductory composition course (English 101, Critical Reading and Writing), which turned out to be one of the most important courses I would take in my college career. Professor Price was young and enthusiastic. She was passionate about Coleridge and Shelley, Lawrence and Eliot. She helped me learn to enjoy poetry for the first time, even though I'd always been a great lover of prose. We spent a lot of time on the World War I poets, which I really loved. She was a very good teacher and I was sorry to see her move on to a different college at the end of that year. I'd hoped to take more classes with her when I declared my English major the following fall.
I had many other good teachers in my courses, major subject and otherwise, later on, but I will always remember the way that she made the most poignant of poetry come alive, and the way she helped her students see connections between literature of bygone eras and the world they inhabited in the late 20th century. We were young adults who had grown up in a place and time of prolonged peace and prosperity. We didn't know much about fear. In class on November 11, Professor Price handed out a xeroxed copy of an editorial in that day's New York Times which gave me pause then and has always stuck with me. I think I've shared it here before. I read it every year; I have it bookmarked on my laptop, after finding it archived several years ago. The world is quite different now than it was even when the editorial was written, but the sentiments stand. It's here, if you'd like to read it.
I'm thinking about taking a few days away from the internet; it's getting a bit overwhelming for me. I hope you have a good weekend and that you find time for things that bring you comfort and calm.