Diary and Commentary

Page 15




Why I Teach (Part 2)

I am writing from Antigua, Guatemala (about which more in due course.) Now---today, this instant---begins the final six months of my expedition. While preparing here for the Tuesday bus to the jungles, all sorts of thoughts intrude. I will write of them as time and desire permit---and that, by the way, is the purpose of this web site.

I cannot say why high school teachers get into the profession. No question that some of them should find other work---and some of these are honest enough to admit this. And there is no question that some who are not teachers should become teachers. What I can say for certain is how and why I became one. Most of the details are here. Briefly, it was Godīs handiwork. (Though of course any errors in the practice of my craft---and there have been many---are entirely my own.)

I left teaching for one year, mainly to spend one year backpacking the nether regions of Latin America; that is, backpacking to the really difficult places, for the easy ones I accomplished long ago. Every time I venture forth with tent and machete the task gets harder, and not just because I am 50. It seems I engage in pushing the limits of my endurance---physical, emotional and spiritual---each time I am in the wilds. This occasion will be no different. I await the challenge---this contest with myself---with great anticipation. I would have it no other way. It cannot be any other way.

During this year-long sabbatical I have encountered many of my ex-students---in Lima, in Cuzco and most recently, in Rio. They are always reminders of why I became a teacher in the first place. They are gifts from God, revealing little hints of His presence, a call to not to stay away from teaching too long. Here is some of the evidence. All of these were taken while I was staying in Rio, where God in His kindness also placed many of my ex-students. They were visitng an American school there to sing and play music.


















Did I ever say that I have the best job in the world?

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