06/05/2009

MY DAY OFF : POETRY TO FLY HIGH BUT SCHOOL - HAUNTED ALL THE TIME!

My day off. Relax and free time are the most directly connected ideas in an ordinary mind. But, well, no, not if it is MY day off. The awful truth is that I've been writing tests, correcting and assessing tests, writing mails, ordering photocopies and preparing the Trinity College Spoken Examinations timetable for our centre. Unbelievable, my work never actually ends. Even when I read something is more often for my classes than for pleasure. And do you know what? Many people I know think that to be a teacher is one of the best jobs since you only work 18 hours a week... 18 hours a week???
Boring stuff, you're right.

I need a break. I need ... not to think about scholastic duties in order to avoid getting too depressed so ... I turn the TV on, just to listen to some English ( but it is the subject I teach!) I've been lucky! There's JANE EYRE on BBC PRIME, the first episode. My beloved BBC Jane Eyre with Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson. Mr Rochester and Jane Eyre have just met each other. The dark atmosphere at Thornfield is enlighted by their blossoming romance. I love this story.


But to ... FLY HIGH I need something more. Usually poetry helps me much (FOR EXAMPLE...) I mean optimistic lirical poetry. Leopardi must be avoided when you are already in a bad mood. So I've taken WALT WHITMAN's LEAVES OF GRASS from my bookshelf. I've opened the book searching for my favourite underlined passages and ... here is one for you (meanwhile Rochester and Jane are sitting by a stream and talking about the past)

"(...)You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look
through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
you shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
you shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.
(...)
I believe in you my soul"
(From SONG OF MYSELF)

Yes, we have to count on ourselves.We have to listen and read respectfully but, in the end, we must form our opinions counting on our judgement and sensitivity. Self - assertion and self -confidence. Walt Whitman believed in mankind and in their right to freely follow the path of ... life. His lesson is great optimism and trust in human beings.


This remind me of one of the most beautiful movies in my DVD collection, a film in which Whitman's poetry is part of the script and his teachings are part of the morale of the story:


DEAD POETS SOCIETY

It is definitely one of my favourite movies and I can't see the final scene without being moved to tears each time. Here it is. To understand the pathos of this scene,anyway, you must know about or see the rest of the story.









Have you noticed? They are in a classroom...I'm really never totally off duty!
School is even part of this splendid final scene, one of the best ever!
So I've flown high for a while but landed back to my ...working place.
I'll give up! I'll prepare my lessons for tomorrow.

3 comments:

lunarossa said...

Hi MG, I’ve tried to post a comment but it failed, so I have to re-write everything! I understand your point about a teacher’s work being never-ending. I decide not to be a teacher exactly because of that. Little I knew that by embarking into the profession of a translator/interpreter would have been as committing and time-consuming! My husband is a teacher and never at home whilst I’m always in my office and rarely out! I’m very surprised at your tastes as they are very similar, if not identical to mine. Love the Jane Eyre’s adaptation with Tony Stephens and loved the Dead Poets’ Society movie, although I saw it in German [Der Club der Toten Dichter, yuk!], as I used to live there at the time it came out. I’d really like to watch it in English now. Have a nice rest on your day off. Ciao. A.

Elvira said...

Oohh! Those never-ending tasks: tests, compositions, etc.. A teacher hardly ever has a long and well deserved rest except in the summer. It is not surprising we need longer holidays then, because we never have real weekends the rest of the year.

18 hours a week!!!!!! Not at all!! Only one teacher understands another. :-)

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@lunarossa and Elvira
Thanks for your sympathetic comments. Anyhow, I think I'm one of the few lucky people who can say they love their job. I really do, though I tend to be exhausted at this time each year. By mid-July, it'll be over and I hope I'll have my long-wished rest!
And this weekend...loads of tests to correct, reports to write , ...as usual. But I'll spare some time for myself. Promised. Have a great weekend!