"unless you are absolutely first rate, which so few of us are, then what I call the letter-carrier function of the teacher is wonderful. To serve great works, to send the letters out hoping they get to a good mailbox, is a marvellous thing."
Academics are notoriously given to frequent fits of self-importance and illusions of grandeur. But every once in a while, we get a clear, humble, maybe maganimous glimpse of who we are and will be, and then find a special joy and delight in being teachers. Would that I could always be content to be a mailman.