I would go to parties and say I was an editor, and people, especially women – and that was important to me back then – would say, Oh, really? and raise their eyebrows and look at me a little more carefully. I remember the first party I went to after I became a teacher, someone asked me what I did for a living, and I said, Well, I teach high school. He looked over my shoulder, nodded his head, said, I went to high school, and walked away.
Once I repeated this anecdote around a big table full of Mexican food in the garden at a place called La Choza in Chicago, and Becky Mueller, another teacher at the school, said that I was a storyteller. I liked that. I was looking for something to be other than just a teacher, and storyteller felt about right. I am a teacher and a storyteller in that order. I have made my living and my real contribution to my community as a teacher, and I have been very lucky to have found that calling, but all through the years I have entertained myself and occasionally other people by telling stories.
Peter Ferry, Travel Writing