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Teachers Lounge The Habits of Mind

Prakken Publications

From time to time, I encounter an occupation that makes me think a second career would be interesting.But, I retired from teaching almost six years ago. At this stage of my life, a second career is out of the question. Even so, when I learn about the particularly interesting work that someone is doing, I sometimes can’t help feeling, if only I had world enough and time. . . . When I was teaching American literature, I used to show my students the film Ordinary People to set up a writing assignment after we had studied The Catcher in the Rye. The assignment was to write a “revised” chapter in Catcher. In this chapter the kids were to write what Holden Caulfield would have to say after watching Ordinary People. I mention this, because every time I showed the film, I marveled at the skill of Dr. Berger, the psychiatrist who enabled the suicidal Conrad Jarrett to climb out of the emotional pit into which he had fallen after the death of his brother.

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