But I have found the greatest book called Teacher Man. This is the third book Frank McCourt has written about his life. The first was Angela's Ashes - one of the most touching book I have ever read. His descriptions of growing up in Irland had me in tears - on one page because it was truly horrid and on the next because I was laughing so hard. The second was about his journey to America, and was nothing to write home about. But so far this book has more than made up for the previous one.
In Teacher Man, McCourt talks about his experiences teaching. While most teacher memoirs talk about their successes, he shares his struggles and failures. This is a man I can relate to.
He was an English teacher, working with at risk - disinterested kids, and also wanted to write. It is encouraging to me that he got his first and huge book out at the age of 66. There is hope for me, even though I hope I do not have to wait that long.
I love the quote he uses in response to his late bloom as a writer:
I was teaching, that's what took me so long. Not in college or university, where you have all the time in the world for writing and other diversions, but in four different New York City public high schools...When you teach five high school classes a day, five days a week, you're not inclined to go home to clear your head and fashion deathless prose. After a day of five classes your head is filled with the clamor of the classroom.
He shares his struggles, faults, mistakes. There was one example where he wanted to comfort some students but believed that he would only muddle it, so he didn't. I would like to say that I would never act this way, but to be honest, I am not sure.
Don't think that this is a downer book - quite the opposite. By the end of his career in the classroom, he does get better. Again, there is hope for me.
Joie de Vivre ~ A Hearty Joy of Living!