Sunday, January 22, 2012

more lines from teachers that i can't get out of my head

(Pre-game sidetrack: I wonder if anything I say will stick in the minds of my own students for years to come? Hopefully they'll continue to use "Help me, please!" and "Thank you!" well into adulthood. Those phrases, along with the morning greeting, are pretty much our daily English vitamins. Even I hear them running through my brain on repeat before I fall asleep at night. "Good morning, Ms. Emy!" might not be quite as universal, but it is cute to hear them say it everyday. Anyway.)

My high school drama teacher's favorite thing to say was, "Only boring people get bored." Mostly I think it was a way to get us to shut up about being tired during rehearsals, but it definitely lodged in the "Truth" section of my brain. Even now, every time I think, Ugh, I'm bored, it's immediately followed by, Oh, crap, I don't want to be boring! I'm not bored, I'm not bored, I'm not bored...HOW CAN I BE 'NOT BORED' RIGHT NOW?!

Well, despite my best intentions, it seems I may be very boring after all, because you know what I realized? I am massively bored in my life, in so many ways. Really what I mean is that I'm not being challenged, but it manifests itself as what I'd call "lacklusterness," aka, "boredom with a touch of exhaustion."

It is a classic mistake of teachers to think that proper education for gifted children is to give them more work than the rest of the class (as opposed to, you guessed it, different work). Which pretty much describes my current work situation: There is WAY too much to do, and most of it is meaningless.

I don't like busywork. I'm not good at sucking it up and doing it anyway. Instead, I start to shut down.

So I've been going to programs held by NYU here in the Dhabs. (Did I mention I saw Christo awhile back? No?! Well, it was AMAZING.) The most recent lecture I attended, by Margaret Wertheim, was also fantastic. As someone who used to hate math as a rule, I never would've guessed I'd be Googling hyperbolic geometry into the wee hours.

I've also been experimenting with photos (the dinosaur above, for example, which also represents how I feel at work lately), planning my sketchbook, journaling in the form of letters written to Steve Jobs (don't ask, it was just something that happened one day), daydreaming about becoming a serious off-roader, and thinking lots about going back to school. At first, it was book arts (and maybe it still will be), then it was possibly getting my Montessori certification, and now? Now I'm thinking big.

Like I said, I need a challenge.

Also, I love learning. I want to know SO MUCH about SO MANY things; I can't seem to satiate that hunger. But here's the catch: I hate grades. And I really don't ever want to take another standardized test, not ever. I want to learn for the joy of it, not to achieve some end result. While trying my best, yes, but without any sick pressure (real or imagined).

I could start here. And from my living room couch, halfway 'round the world, if I want.


In any case, I'm still fumbling my way through, hoping to find the right path. (Is there such a thing? Ah, well -- Onward.)