I enjoyed reading the essays in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine, all on the theme of teaching. David Gessner (Sick of Nature, Return of the Osprey) writes about giving up full-time writing for the safety–and health insurance–that come with a teaching job. He touches on all the challenges that writers in academia face, I think. Manil Suri has a nostalgic piece about teaching mathematics for twenty-five years (that’s fifty semesters.) And Mark Oppenheimer has an interesting article about how teaching evaluations are collected, what they might measure, and what they don’t.
I start teaching in four days. I fully expect to have one of those dreams where I show up without my papers, without my notes, having forgotten what the day’s lecture was about.