1. “I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards and broken things.” Tyrion? Or what you tell your student when she asks why all the texts you assigned this semester are so depressing?
2. “I learned how to die a long time ago.” — Ned Stark? Or you in a meeting where your colleagues are using Bloom’s Taxonomy of Measurable Verbs to wordsmith new course learning outcomes?
3. “I’ve seen wet shits I like better.” Brynden Tully? Or, what you write and then reluctantly erase on the scoring sheet for the student whose 10-minute oral presentation consists of a 9 minute YouTube video and concludes with “Well, I guess that’s it”?
4. Never forget what you are. Wear it like armour, and it can never be used to hurt you.”—Tyrion? Or the pep talk you give yourself because, despite having a CV that boasts three books of poetry and numerous awards, your meager teaching salary has reduced you to foraging for tomorrow’s dinner by slipping cheese cubes and baby carrots into your pockets at the student awards?
5. “Not today!” — Arya Stark? Or your gleeful answer to the student who has yet to turn in a single assignment but, on the last day of classes, asks when your office hours are so you can read and give her feedback on the book-length autobiography she’s been working on outside of class?
6. “A lion does not concern himself with the opinion of sheep.” — Tywin? Or the student in the Make America Great hat justifying why his research paper refuting global warming doesn’t cite any sources.
7. “Hold the Wall!” The Night’s Watch? Or your hopeful but doomed colleagues facing off against the college administration which, “to remove barriers,” plans on abandoning pre-requisites while doubling the cap size for all writing classes?
8. “Burn them all!” — The mad king’s murderous rampage? Or what students wandering past your office on the last day of class might overhear you muttering as you realize the only thing standing between you and summer vacation is a stack of papers on the drinking age, euthanasia, and legalizing marijuana?
9. “The day will come when you think you are safe and happy, and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth.” — Tyrion? Or you after submitting final grades, pouring a glass of wine, and then opening your inbox to discover one last essay…which begins, “In today’s society…”?