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Emails to my Therapist

A Week (Almost) on an Island

I’m getting ready to head off to Ocracoke on the NC Outer Banks to teach a writing class for five days for NCCAT. Very nice assignment, I know.

At the same time, teaching is the boldest thing I ever do. The most demanding of attentiveness. Writing is a piece of cake, by comparison. Public speaking is a walk in the park. (Pardon the cliches, please.) Teaching is serious stuff.

Ran across this comparison of writing and teaching from Parker J. Palmer, whom I’ve quoted here before:

“Writing is easy,” someone once said. “You just sit down and open a vein.” Teaching is an equally vulnerable act, performed, as it is, at the dangerous intersection of the public and the personal. To teach well, I must reveal things about which I care deeply-not the intimate details of my life, but subjects that I find crucial and compelling, that have helped shape who I am. The courage to teach is the courage to risk the judgment that comes when I expose my passions to public scrutiny.”

So I’m getting my adrenaline cranked up–and packing my sunscreen. Will report back.

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