“For decades and decades and decades I have bemoaned people who say they feel old, but I now realize it is perfectly possible for anyone to feel old. All they need to do is become a teacher.”
— Matt Haig, in “How to Stop Time”
This seems as if it should be true, but my experience is that it isn’t. If you engage with students and let them to show you things — technology, music, TV, movies. For all those things that have passed you by, they leap at the chance to teach you. And they don’t make you feel like an idiot in the process.
Later in the book, Haig wrote: “I can’t right now think of a better purpose in life than to be a teacher. To teach feels like you are a guardian of time itself, protecting the future happiness of the world via the minds that are yet to shape it.”
I guess. I started teaching late in life, after my 37-year career in journalism was over. So, it may make sense that my favorite quote about feeling old is this Greek proverb: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
That is what I hope that I’m doing.