The itinerant English language teacher

HomelessStreet04I’m feeling in a very “sanguine” mood – must be the sweltering heat and humidity! I go from sweating profusely to cold chills when I turn on the AC (and suffer too the guilt).

I wrote the poem below the other day – about my inner feelings and present “mind”. I think it might speak to other teachers too. We travel so far from home and indeed make “many homes”. So what is home?

Robert Frost wrote that home is, “the place where, when you have to go there, / They have to take you in.”

Maybe so – I’ll have to think on that…..

It isn’t easy to be a traveling teacher, trading our talents in different places around the globe. It is a two edged sword. The excitement and freedom of being “elsewhere” (and this reminds me of Kundera’s first and most perfect of novels – “Life is Elsewhere”). And on the other hand, the estrangement and incompleteness of being separated from “the womb” which is home.

How do you feel about “home”? How do you survive and bear those times when the melancholy descends?

Here’s my poem – I’ll also suggest Roger Cohen’s recent column ” Modern Odysseys” – a nice rumination on this topic, from one of the best journalists around.

What I learned from the Chinese poets

More than 40 years

have spun by me like

a drunk hurricane.

I have spent my life

going here, doing there

a homeless mind.

Now, I ache for

my land,

the unswum lakes and

fields of pine.

Two oceans away

gray hairs sprout on

my inflated head,

the travels only kept

me dizzy, busy.

I skipped between continents,

got As and gave As.

Spoke to applauding audiences

and slept in Hyatts, on satin sheets.

What for?

Better I stayed home

and chopped wood.

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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