Last night, I had that dream again. It was the first day of classes, and I had no syllabi prepared. The class was huge (and, as usual, in a weirdly shaped room...maybe going around a corner again? not sure). Students began to walk out in the middle of class.
It's the professorial version of showing up to school naked.
I still wonder if I belong in the front of that classroom, even after many years and moderate success there. I wonder about scholarship even more. Academic life has always felt a bit...out of reach? ill-fitting? I recall when I was a senior in college and got a letter inviting me to go to an informational session on applying for Rhodes and other scholarships. I had to ask someone what those were. I never did go to the event, or apply. I'm still baffled and overwhelmed by grant writing.
And yet, here I am, loving the pedagogical and historiographical writing that I am doing this summer, and looking forward to the archives next spring. Plus, I no longer have the ability to "go back" to how I grew up, to fit into my blue-collar roots. Maybe, I think, because I never did fit in there.
And so I continue to live betwixt and between, in this and so many other ways.