At work, I spent all day depressed and brooding about my unhappiness. Whenever someone asked me how I was doing, I was doing so bad that I couldn't even say the requisite, "Fine." I was literally on the verge of tears all morning. One bright spot in the day: before school, a student overheard me telling another teacher about my unhappiness & dissatisfaction with work. When this student came to my class later in the day, she gave me the sweetest note, expressing her sympathy for my feelings and her appreciation of me as a teacher. It made me cry, but it also made me feel better.
Tonight, Valerie & I went to a reading by Johnathan Franzen, author of The Corrections. His was one of the best readings that I have ever experienced--so funny, satirical, and insightful. He read from a nonfiction piece that he is working on, something that hasn't even been seen by his editor (I think that's what he said). The piece was called "My Bird Problem." It was amazing how he merged his politics, his marriage, which has since ended, and his views on the environment to tell a very entertaining story. I really liked the reading, and I don't usually like nonfiction. I have The Corrections and will likely read it as soon as I finish The Russian Debutante's Handbook. This weekend or very soon after, I plan to purchase his book of essays, How to be Alone. After the reading, a local author Justin Cronin did an on-stage interview with Franzen, and Cronin read a part of one or two of the essays in the book, which made me want to read the essays too. (I will write later about some specific things that Franzen said about reading and writing.)
***A note for the future, it was announced tonight that John Irving will be the first author for next year's reading series. I can't wait to see him. (If you live in the Houston area and love literature, you should definitely go to some of the Inprint-Margarett Root Brown Reading Series.)
Between Franzen's reading and the announcement about Irving, my day has been redeemed somewhat. Of course, I still have grading hanging over my head, but for now, I will go to bed and read, something that almost always makes me feel better.