A Memory of Light

Channelling Saidar

Written by Jennifer Liang

Every day at work, I channel saidar. Okay, not literally. But it feels like it. See, my real job is being a special education teacher. I work at a very small private school for kids with behavior disorders. The head of school says I probably have the eight toughest middle school boys in the city of Atlanta. My kids are awesome and smart and funny.

They also curse at me, tear up their work and kick me in the leg if they don’t like the answer they get. To control this class, I have to surrender. If I fight with them, we all lose. I can’t force them to do anything. Instead I guide. I keep my voice and my body language perfectly calm no matter what kind of chaos is brewing around me, or how many times they scream in my face that I’m the meanest lady in the world.

I don’t consciously think about saidar and the Wheel of Time when I’m at work. I’m too busy for that. But I think some part of me knows how to do this because I read the Wheel of Time and because it’s been such a profound influence on me. I’ve joked before that my husband and I have a Seafolk marriage and that he’s really a Seanchan. But it’s no joke that these books have had a profound influence on me. I met my husband on the forums at Dragon*Con. My best friends are JordanCon volunteers and vendors. I always manage to convince one or two students each year to pick up The Eye of the World. These books touch everything about me and who I am. I married a Seanchan blademaster. I convince kids who hate reading that a 400 page book isn’t so scary. I channel saidar for a living.

The Wheel of Time is more than books to me. Its friends, family and the way I look at the world. It’s a wild weekend in Atlanta and stalking Brandon on Twitter. The series is ending, 21 years after I first picked it up. But who I am because I read these books will not change. I will always be forever grateful to Robert Jordan for giving that to me.

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From the Tor/Forge January Wheel of Time newsletter. Sign up to receive our newsletter via email.

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