A Precocious Moment

Let no act be done without a purpose. –Marcus Aurelius

Wise words. And, for teachers like me dragging with exhaustion as the semester’s end approaches, after slogging through more months of classrooms stuffed with unmotivated, Smartphone-thumbing, “I’m only taking this class because I need the credit” students,* words that provoke biting and gloomy moments of self-reflection and lengthy episodes at three in the morning staring into the mirror (physiognomy resembling more and more with each passing year that of the figure in Edvard Munch’s The Scream) thinking, “have I completely wasted my life? Is it really too late to take up the Uilleann pipes and spend each moment from here on joyously playing, among amiable community, traditional Irish music (the best music there is) in traditional Irish pubs? Am I just waiting to die?

It is often precisely at dismal moments like these that the universe offers up something that slaps me upside my balding head and knocks me out of the mental cul de sac I’ve driven myself into. Facebook this morning reminded me of words my son said back in 2012, when he was only four years old, words of perhaps accidental precociousness:

“Every day is a great day, Daddy. You just don’t know it yet.”

Again my wonderful child helps me to grow up.

*this is not to say that there aren’t also many wonderfully talented and motivated students!


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