“It’s easy to write about other people’s compromises; it is much harder to write about your own.”
My lack of compromise turned out not to be so heroic. The issue would seem picayune to anyone who does not have a burning desire to teach other people to speak a foreign language. For me it was central to my career.
For three and a half years I had had free rein to teach exactly as I wanted. Then came the hammer. An administrator gave me orders to follow the curriculum of the other teachers. That wasn’t what I was about so I quit.
Heroic? Uncompromising? Not quite. The dramatic need for money to pay for my wife’s prescriptions had abated, my arthritic knees were killing me and I looked forward to retirement, so I did. To this day I think I missed the retirement check by a few points but I got it anyway and I think it was because some people there really appreciated what I had done.
So I paid no price for being uncompromising. What if I had remained in desperate need of the money? Knowing me myself, I would have figured out a work-around where I could get the students on the right path while teaching grammar like the pooh-bahs wanted.
Oh, BTW, that last year I recruited another Latin teacher to take my place. My parting gift for those three and a half years.

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