True education flowers at the point when delight falls in love with responsibility. If you love something, you want to look after it.
~ Philip Pullman
On Thursday, I received a lovely brown package in the mail (hooray for parents and belated gifts!): Literature: A Portable Anthology. Since reading an article back in August on "How schools are destroying the joy of reading," I've wanted to get my hands on this book. It's exceeded my expectations. I got the same feeling as when I was in college and bought my Norton anthologies--beautiful tomes with Bible-thin pages full of friends old and unmet. This anthology by Bedford/St. Martin's is specifically for introductory lit classes (high school) and has wonderful bios and excellent supplementary info (not to mention the 35 stories, 250 poems, and 9 plays by everyone from Sir Philip Sidney to Sandra Cisneros). I plan to rely on it a lot this coming year. (I've been reading through it in my spare time--revisited "Bartleby, the Scrivner" and "A White Heron" yesterday.)
Most days I'm terrified of what lies ahead. But then there are days like last week when I needed to carry a volume of Dylan Thomas in my mochila and devour a few poems during breaktime. Like a schoolgirl with a crush, I wrote his lines all over the blank cover of my new journal: the words of a Welshman in handwritten black ink to serve as a talisman to ward off mediocre thoughts and banal forms of despair.
So for now I won't think about my lack of experience and the vastness of all I don't know. The weight of this new book in my hands reminds me of a time when I knew what I was doing and loved every minute of it.