Living Vicariously Through Students
I'm not actually sure that's what I'm doing, but I certainly get a great deal of happiness and satisfaction when I see my students achieve great things. The latest is my Old Norse student (the one who insisted I teach her ON even though I hadn't ever formally studied it; I stayed a week ahead for about a year, and since then we've just been working together to translate from Egil's Saga). But that brilliant student just won a Fulbright Scholarship to study literature at the University of Reykjavik in Iceland for a year.
One of my other super-brilliant students from a couple of years back is now deciding between the two best Anglo-Saxon Ph.D. programs in the world: Cambridge University and the University of Toronto.
I get great joy from their success, especially since both didn't get off to the most auspicious starts at Wheaton but then found themselves. I also really like watching students surpass me (and they really can do that in language skills, since they're starting so much earlier than I did). And finally, I love watching my students earn awards and get accepted to places that I could never have (and probably never will) earn or get into. I think I'm getting a glimpse of how great it is going to be to watch my kids grow up and achieve some of their dreams.