We have the day off today being the Hari Raya Puasa. I did not do much with my notebook computer screen not working. I had this book sitting in the shelves for about a year. I looked at it and thought I'd just leaf through the first few pages to see if it is any good. The last time I did this, it caused me the purchase of the entire Harry Potter series, in hardback. I had the hardback version of the Order of Phoenix sitting on the shelf for almost 2 years, since I last bought it for S$7.95 from Borders Singapore. I got so hooked into it that I went hunting for the previous 4 books in hardback. Obviously I could not find them and settled for the paperback version. I finished all 4 books back-to-back in just 2 weeks. I finally got the hardback version of the first 4 tomes in Kinokuniya Bangkok. Talk about madness.
This time, the book was Frank McCourt's Teacher Man (2006). I thought I would just read a few pages. I ended up finishing the entire book in one sitting. And it was a good read.
This is McCourt's third book. He recounted his life as a high school teacher. It is almost reminiscent of the usual high school movies, but McCourt is a good writer, with his wit and humour.
He taught high school English in New York for 30 years, and most of the time he considered himself a fraud. He found himself telling more stories, his stories to be precise, than teaching. He was popular among his students in the later years, with students cramped in the lecture hall up to the window sills, though he did not quite decide whether it was the knowledge he imparted or the ease it was in passing his class.
I spent a good 5 hours with this excellent and delightful story of a teacher man. However trivial it was, it was still time well spent. And I learnt some new words - condign and usufruct!