It doesn't take much to make a teacher's day.
This afternoon I was preparing for my fiction writing class when a man paused at the door, came in, and then went back out. This happened a couple of times, and I thought perhaps he was looking for someone. On his third venture inside, I asked if I could help him.
No, he said. It was just that he'd heard this was a really good class and he wanted to sit in.
I was floored.
Sure, I said, but today's class isn't one of my bigger lectures. We're going to talk about journaling - I had planned a pretty low-key approach to how new writers can keep writing in the absence of a class or workshop.
He said he'd come back in the fall - and I urged him to stay. Please. I heard the echo of my father's voice when he first started a business, an entrepreneur after a lifetime as an employee in manufacturing. He would follow people to the door, talking, trying to make that connection that might turn into a sale.
The visitor left. Too much attention, maybe.
I'd like to tell him, if I could, that I wish he had stayed. I felt insufficient for his interest, my extemporaneous teaching methods suddenly under a spotlight.
I'd like to tell him that that moment of self-doubt passed, and all that remained was the warm glow. Someone liked the class enough to tell him about it, and he cared enough to visit.
Thank you, thank you.