This memoir records the story of the author's personal journey toward a life of university teaching and probes that story in reflective essays on a variety of subjects. One group of essays has to do with the characteristic activities and institutional setting of a professor. Other essays explore ways of experiencing the world as mysterious, beautiful, and tragic. One piece offers a rather somber account of current ways in which the American experiment in democracy is in peril. Scraps of what looks like an intellectual autobiography are scattered over the pages of the narrative, recalling the puzzles that gave rise to a number of writing projects. In a way this is a book of paradoxes and antitheses. Janus-like, it faces toward the past and the future. It offers generalized convictions and specific observations, treats both the ordinary themes of life experience and tangled esoterica, and presents both the experiences of an individual and an analysis of educational institutions. As a whole, the book invites readers to join the author in thinking about things.