I have a confession to make. Although I have been blogging almost daily for more than ten years, during which time I have posted perhaps a million words, bogging is not at the core of my being. Teaching is. Now that I have once again begun making weekly treks to New York to teach at Columbia, my mind is utterly absorbed by plans for next Tuesday’s lecture. The course begins with three classes by me devoted to Marx, and though this is not, as they say out west, my first rodeo, I desperately want to get it right, to say clearly, forcefully, coherently some portion of what I think about the greatest student of society ever to live and write.
That is not all I think about, of course. A part of me is absorbed in Serena’s bid for her twenty-fourth major title. Another part of me is enjoying Trump’s misadventures with a sharpie. And in the background, casting a cloud even over Serena’s march to the title, are the real problems besetting the world. But I cannot do much of anything about them, and I can do something about my teaching.
So it is that as I walk each morning I deliver, in my head, portions of my planned remarks, shaping them, making mental notes of details to check when I am again in front of my computer, editing out amusing stories that I love to tell but which take up too much precious time, wondering on occasion whether any of the twenty young men and women in the class can possibly care as much as I do about what I shall say.
This is when I am most fully alive. So it has been since I began teaching sixty-four years ago, and so it will be until finally, regretfully, I must stop.