Three autumns ago, I took my first and I hope not last sabbatical. Since I had just finished years of administration, and was about to become a full time faculty member, it felt more like just time off or down time. I needed to vegetate. I did get writing done, some. I fretted about the new courses I had to teach, including a large undergraduate lecture class. I had never taught more than 30 students, and now was expected to address five times that number.
The most memorable reading I did that fall included a number of personal essays. I recall lying in the sun in the late afternoon on Slayter Hill, with Fitzgerald's The Crack-up
. But my singular sustained intellectual experience that fall was reading Don Quixote
. This speech just given by Carlos Fuentes
brings back that wondrous time.