Teacher of the Year
Sometimes being a great teacher is about what you DON'T do . . . the other morning I was using my guitar to illustrate how form often overpowers content . . . I played my creative writing students "Delia's Gone" by Johnny Cash, which is upbeat and kind of fun, though it is about murder, adultery, and revenge, and I also played "Goodbye Earl" by the Dixie Chicks-- another song that is catchy and cute, despite the fact that it is about poisoning an abusive husband, wrapping him in a tarp, and tossing him into a lake-- and then I was about to launch into "Last Kiss," a sixties song about a fatal car crash with a catchy chorus that was famously covered by Pearl Jam . . . I have fond memories of all the high school girls on the Spotswood soccer team joyously singing this tragic song on a bus ride home, smiling and laughing as they hollered the description of the car accident that kills the narrator's girlfriend, but not before he is able to give her one "last kiss" as she fades into the hereafter . . . but then I remembered that one of my students recently lost her boyfriend in a car crash, and-- miraculously-- I remembered this before I played the song . . . and so I actually averted an awkward moment instead of producing one, and for this amazing decision, I think I should win Teacher of the Year.