To me, coffee is necessary to teaching. I guess survival is really how my habit began. I taught in a room with no heat, so I could either wear gloves or hold a warm coffee mug as a hand warmer. I sipped and 'Shakespearized' with my sophomores, attempting not to blow crystallized breath over their chilled desks.
Soon I was addicted. My colleagues and I would gather at the coffee pot for caffeinated encouragement. Now teasing students warn me to "lay off the caffeine, Mrs. E." They tell me I am 'highly caffeinated.' My speech, even without caffeine, is rapid fire. With caffeine, my mouth goes warp speed. I'm energetic on a normal day; manic after my morning cup of coffee. And all of life seems to move less sluggishly along.
I like my coffee, but I live for champagne. While not appropriate at work (I can only dream), it is the drink of celebrating my leisure. I like the way the bubbles tickle my lips, the sweet taste of sheer liquid relaxation. You might associate champagne with the finer things in life: caviar, rich jewels and furs. Not me. Champagne is sitting on the patio, watching the clouds float by. It is enjoying a heart to heart with my husband, daughters, or kid sister. It is celebrating life's finer moments—holidays, weddings, and the christenings of both babies and ships. My daughters and I have been known to kill a bottle before 8:00 a.m. on Christmas morning, mixed with cranberry juice in a drink we like to call Poinsettias.
I have to admit, I prefer the champagne celebrating to the daily cup of survival. So when I die, chill a couple of cases of Champagne, toast the life of the caffeinated teacher, and launch me into the afterlife in style.