Tuesday, November 13, 2012

an apple for the teacher

Good news on a cold morning. Each year, the departments of U of T's School of Continuing Studies select a teacher for the Excellence in Teaching award. My boss Lee Gowan just called to tell me that this year, I'm the winner of the Excellence in Teaching award for the department of Creative Writing.

The award means the world to me. I love teaching, and from the response of my students, it seems that I'm good at animating a classroom and sharing what I know. It's a gift I was given and would use no matter what. But it certainly is thrilling to be acknowledged this way. There's a gathering with the usual terrific U of T food and wine, a ceremony with speeches, and the winners are given a plaque to hang on the wall. Imagine. My very own plaque. It'll hang beside the "Certificate of Proficiency in Stage Fighting" that I earned at theatre school in 1972.

What a year this has been. If only there were another word for "roller coaster," which is a cliché.

I immediately called Wayson and my children, to share the news. Earlier this year, I would have called my mother. But not now. There's no phone by her hospital bed, she's still very weak, and she isn't sure where she is. I can't wait to be with her again, to see what comfort I can bring. In her land, my news is meaningless.

It's a fine, strange, confusing, marvellous world.

And now time to go. I have a class to teach.


  1. Congratulations, Beth! Isn't that fine news!

  2. As one of your students, Beth, I can honestly attest that you truly deserve this award.
    Great job.

  3. Thank you, Theresa far away and Jason nearby. This is a great gift at a very good time.

  4. Great news, Beth, and well deserved.

  5. Thank you, my very close relative George.

    1. Not a relative, a friend from the Farm and a student from Ryerson.

  6. Oh THAT George. I have a George second cousin in Washington, who also writes. HI GEORGE!

  7. Congratulations Beth! You certainly are the best teacher of creative writing I've ever had. I really enjoyed your classes and learned from them too.

  8. You're a wonderful writer, Nasrin; it was a joy to hear your thoughtful, moving stories. More, please.