The good news is that as long as I keep teaching, there will always be funny stories to share with my blog’s readers.
I was talking about the rise of the Inquisition in Medieval Spain. (The Spanish Inquisition was established by the Catholic Kings Ferdinand and Isabella in 1478). A student raises her hand.
Student: When are you going to talk about the gladiators?
Me: You want me to talk about the gladiators?
Student (enthusiastically): Yes, I’d love to hear about them.
Me: Does anybody else want me to talk about the gladiators?
Students (all speaking excitedly at the same time): Yes! The gladiators! They are so cool!
Of course, the gladiators were around about a millenium and a half before the rise of the Inquisition. But hey, why should I dampen this kind of enthusiasm for history?
So I talked about the gladiators and managed to connect this discussion to the topic of our course on Hispanic civilization (the Roman Empire, Spanish as a Romance language, the consolidation of Spanish as a language in its own right and not just a degraded version of Latin, etc.)
I can’t tell you, people, how much I love teaching. When I stand there, in front of a classroom, talking about this stuff that interests me so much and see the rapt, curious, young faces of my students (and, of course, anybody is young while they are receptive to new knowledge), there is nothing that can compare to this feeling. It feels a little bit like flying. They’ll have to cart me off to the funeral home straight from a classroom because I’m never giving this up.