what's moving me more than anything, in email, on facebook, on gofundme, is people who remember me as a teacher, from every phase of my career from babyprof at vandy to this year at dickinson. i never had much luck being valued by the institutions, but i really have cherished many of my students and tried to help them and share my enthusiasms. people remember that! when i was thinking a transition out of academia, i was also thinking that i'd always find a context to teach as well.
i was really wildly overconfident about everything as this unfolded, and at this point i am left wondering whether i will ever be able to teach again anywhere. this thing where everyone's only defense of their own actions is that they were dealing with a violent lunatic will make anyone leery of putting you anywhere close to students. but one thing i notice about human beings: they don't actually care about each other very much. they care about social self-exculpation. they care about how they think they look to other people, but not about those other people, even friends, family, etc. i feel like a mere image in other people's solipsistic hall of mirrors or self-esteem drama.
i wish i was thinking something else right now. well, the support helps me try to think that we are not all only using each other to prop up our own public image or to help construct a false self-image. i'm sort of hoping that god or something can work a redemption, or free us to make contact with each other and not just treat other people as symbols or place-markers in the apparently infinite self-regarding emptiness within each of us.