In the warm misty morning air, insects buzz and plants wave their hellos. I sit on the concrete urban campus of the University of Detroit, a half-hour before my first class in three years begins.
The clock tower, tall, majestic, with a face of Roman numbers, is a beacon of light, reminding us of the power of time. This minute, the next minute, all the minutes that gather to form a meaningful hour.
At 10, I will begin teaching Business Writing, a class I have not yet taught but which excites me, for when were any of us guided in the art of workplace communication? What a gift! To learn before you need to learn to avoid the missteps of light-quick hit-send communications that can make, or break, a career.
This is one of my passions: to teach that words matter.
In the early years of my adult life, I followed my heart. I loved to write so I wrote, staying up late many nights with agonizing stanzas and paragraphs my beloved partners.
And then, as life grew full, laden with relationships and responsibilities, I left the passion in the dark corners of the night and clung to the vision of money. Earn for a living, support my desires, and somewhere the passion left my purview.
Enough of that.
I am going back to the heart of who I am. I am reclaiming my passion. I am stepping into my soul.
When we do our soul’s work, everything aligns. It all fits nicely. The time flies by in a rush of enthusiasm, and we collapse onto the bed at night, satisfied that we have done our job well.
That is where I am today. I stare at the clock tower, let the fingers of the breeze tickle my back, and eagerly look tok the third floor of the Briggs building where soon, I will stand before a group of ten students and talk with them honestly, from the heart, about our work for the next 15 weeks.
In a way, we are all teachers. Some of us for a living, some of us naturally in the course of our days.
Every moment is a lesson, a gift from me to you, imparting the wisdom of where I’ve been and what I’ve learned.
I have always told adolescents that I mentor that everybody likes to be asked for advice. Everybody likes to be an authority on something. And when we give them the dignity of that respect, we end up learning, too.
I am heading back into the classroom today, but I believe it will be more than me teaching a group of undergrads. I know in my heart that I will be learning every step of the way, and I hope I will come out of it better, stronger, wiser, too.