L i s a

She has convinced herself over the years that this is her life, her passion, her destiny, and there is little she can do to change this fact. She swings back and forth between being disheartened and zealous about what she knows she will continue to do for the rest of her life—teaching lecture after lecture, grading pile after pile of papers. Papers that require her to provide comments and feedback to students whom she is convinced care nothing for the topic she has been taught to love.

Every morning at promptly 7:35 she trudges into her workplace, greeting her colleagues with the friendly smile upon which she has grown to be dependent. Her manner of speech is slow and well-meditated, and the lectures where she tosses in fragments of stories or comments that were nowhere to be found in her daily lecture notes were uncomfortable days indeed. Times like these are when she relies heavily on her class to support her by filling in with stories of their own; when no one volunteers, she erratically asks if anything similar has happened to any of them.

After greeting her fellow instructors with all the warmth she could gather, she sifts her key out of her book bag and walks calmly into her window office. After all, she has been a faculty member for twenty-five years now, and this personal space has morphed into a reflection of her—without dynamic, yet colorful as a field of flowers when the need arises. She takes pride in the confidence that this job was cut out for her, and she for this job, which requires a certain amount of love for the topic that she and her colleagues are expected to adore unreservedly. While she finds enjoyment in privately studying the subject of her degree, she is at a loss to find what higher good she is serving while teaching at this prestige university for students who care nothing for her style or her expression. She is well-versed in every area of her expertise, yet she feels it is all for naught, just a wasted mound of knowledge.

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