In the Shadow of War, 58 University of Miami Law Review 449 (2003)
Teaching is a difficult profession. I refer not to the hours we need put in, which are not so long, or even the pay, which I have always regarded as generous, but to the emotional burdens we shoulder. Like most teachers, I spend hours on end preparing for class. I reread the assigned material, trying to identify the most pressing dilemmas within it. In class I address those dilemmas with all the force and energy I can muster and try to engage the students in the inquiry. After an hour or two, or maybe, I confess, a little more, I walk out of the classroom, wondering to myself: Have I helped my students understand the issues better? Have I stirred their imaginations? Have I enabled the class to see the law for all it could be? I amble back to my office, usually alone, full of hope, but uncertain of the answers to these questions. The void or emptiness I experience is shared, I imagine, by most law teachers, and it haunts us in our quietest moments.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Fiss, Owen M., "In the Shadow of War" (2003). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 1312.