- A regular routine.
Getting up at the same time; going to bed at the same time; having the same sorts of events each day take up roughly the same portions of the day… Things I do repeatedly, I get better at. The better I am at something, the more mind space I have to improvise and work on other projects.
- Free time.
Somebody a bit more snobbish might call this “quiet time.” Either way, it’s not incongruous with the above point. It’s the purpose for it. I want a regular schedule so I can block big open spaces to sit and think. The key is the biggest blocks possible. A two hour block is twice as good as two 1-hour blocks, which would be still better than 4 ½-hour blocks. Every chaotic experience requires a certain margin of time before I’m able to operate smoothly again. This cuts into the free time that I have available on paper.
- Plenty of time to read, reflect, and write.
As before, this is the whole purpose of the point above. I can always squeeze a little reading into the crevices in my schedule, but reflection and writing require nice big blocks. And it’s only when I’m ready to write that I first begin to notice that I’m becoming happy. It’s the foundational joy of an ordered mind.
- Prayer. Continue reading “Things that make me happy”
|Latina mortua lingua est,
Ut mortua potest esse:
Necavit omnes Romanos,
Atque necat me!
|(Latin is a dead language,
Dead as it can be:
It killed off all the Romans,
And now it’s killing me!)
The rumors of my death, unfortunately, have not been so greatly exaggerated as one could have wished. As you may recall, I was offered a job about a year ago to teach Latin at a classical school in Concord, North Carolina. This was very odd because, well, several reasons:
- Though I love teaching, I had never taught in a classroom setting, nor had I been trained in any way to do so.
- Though I had decided I wanted to try teaching, Latin was the furthest thing from my mind. I had applied to teach English.
- Of all the positions to offer me, Latin was the least likely. I like languages, but I had never studied any with the diligence that produces proficiency. In other words, I didn’t know what I was talking about.
Nevertheless, the school and I endeavored upon a noble experiment, based in necessity: I needed a job, and I was interested in teaching. They needed a Latin teacher, and they were willing to try me, apparently because I sounded pretty good on paper.
About a month ago, I learned with the finality that the experiment was to be considered a failure. Contracts at our school are offered on an annual basis with no guarantee as to future years. I was not to be offered a new one. Continue reading “In which I tell you everything”