>Today while doing the reading for my Chaucer class, I felt inspired not only in my teaching but also in my research (hey, I was “inspired in every holt and heeth,” te-hee!).
This might not seem like such a big deal, but it was a really pleasurable experience and a bit surprising, too, especially on the research side of things, since I don’t work on Chaucer. Usually when I prepare to teach Chaucer I feel enthusiasm — because, after all, Chaucer is fantastic fun to teach — but it’s usually not at all connected to my research, which is all focused on a different century. But today I realized that my newest research may have a Chaucer connection, at least in an abstract way. And that’s exciting to me because until now I’ve always felt like I didn’t have anything new to say about Chaucer, and the idea of wading into the Chaucer conversation was awfully daunting. But now, maybe I do have something say, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll finally have a reason to go to an New Chaucer Society conference!
And then, on the teaching side of things, I realized I was thinking about the material in a new way, writing out approaches and discussion questions I’d never thought of before. (I’m sure *someone* has, but they were new to me.) And this was pleasurable, too, because it meant that I wasn’t forming any pedagogical or intellectual ruts. In fact, the things I was thinking were somewhat new approaches for me in general, and it made me happy to realize I myself am still learning about these texts.
See, it’s moments like these that make me remember what’s so cool about being a professor.