So it’s been awhile…

22 Feb

But do read this! If you’ve already read it, pardon my redundancy. But for those of you who don’t know her, Miriam has the best excerpts of an interview with our high school teacher who recently came out with Hummingbirds, a book about a prep school and illicit student-teacher relations. (Ours was a Jewish co-ed high school.)

My connection is more tenuous than Miriam’s, as this writer was never my teacher, nor did he ever write me a recommendation. But I was in his Literature in Translation club, which I enjoyed immensely. More importantly, the person I believe he refers to here was that English teacher I’m always talking about. The one who introduced me to the New Yorker, made me fall in love with reading and writing, the one who indirectly made me realize I never wanted to be a dentist to begin with:

And the central conflict in the book, the rivalry between two male teachers for the students’ affection—that’s something that was actually born out of my experience. When I first started teaching, I was completely envious of this other teacher who always managed to evoke undying loyalty and adoration from his students. But he was so dynamic that I understood where that adoration came from. I was torn. I didn’t know whether to destroy him or to be his best friend. As it happens, I split the difference: I’ve become his friend, but that doesn’t keep me from trying to destroy him every now and then.

Here are a few gems:

  • As Miriam notes, his next book is about zombies. I can’t get over that either.
  • “The administration, of course, trembled a little at the idea of a teacher publishing a book containing illicit relations between a teacher and student. But because the book is a fiction rather than some kind of scandalous expose, they were more supportive than not. “
  • “I could do a mean anapestic tetrameter.”
  • “So I went up to her afterward, and my opening line was: ‘So you like Faulkner, huh?’ It’s the kind of pick-up line that only works with very particular women. Of course, I immediately adored her, wee and ferocious as she was, but it took me a year to convince her to go out with me.”
  • “Mostly I drink Welch’s Grape Soda.”
  • “I would love to be Miley Cyrus for a day. It seems like she’s having a good time. And a day would be good. I don’t think I could handle much more than that.”
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One Response to “So it’s been awhile…”

  1. miriam February 23, 2010 at 2:28 am #

    i love him so much. he wrote my college recommendations as well… he made me want to study american lit, and the fact that that’s what my degree is in can sort of be traced back to him. i wrote him an email after i read the book and i got back a super awesome reply, which was nice. 🙂

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