Amazing

Sometimes, I forget that I am an amazing person. I forget that I am talented and learnèd to a spectacular degree. I forget that my existence is an absolute blessing from God, both to me and to the world at large. (I truly think we all are this, though in incredibly different ways in life. However, that is not my current point.) You see, I get a bit worn out or lost, and so get behind on things, and I end up not giving my usual best for something. I take care of my physical well-being instead of giving my all to a certain time-sensitive project. I then, of course, give a completely acceptable and, even, great result on whatever that project is. However, I know that I certainly could have done better on it, much better than I did. I had, though, prioritized something else above it – myself and my ability to continue functioning as a whole, avoiding breakdown and wear-out. If, then, somebody happens to mention almost anything about that project, I immediately feel dreadful. Oh, dear, I’ve been caught being lazy. I knew I shouldn’t have given any less than my all on it.

But then, if, at the time, my all would have gotten me home sick afterward, what benefit would it have been?

Okay, so, let’s suppose I did the work ahead of time…., when there was no clear need for me to do it at all…. That just doesn’t make sense.

Well, so, here I am, stressed that I’m not doing a good enough job teaching. I didn’t prepare things ahead of time, because I didn’t want to do so, and they had no direct use in my life. Now, I am here. I did not do as great a job as I could have done on some – many – things so far this school year. Got it. That annoys me.

…….

And so, I sit here, feeling like crap about my teaching and myself – because I didn’t do it right, the best way. Okay, got it. However, just because I did one thing not spectacularly doesn’t make me a failure, doesn’t mean I’m failing my students. We can always do things better as a teacher – any teacher knows that. For now, I must accept the restraints I have had, or I will go nuts. I was limited on time, energy, and quick memory (It’s been a while for some of the topics, you see.), as well as the level and adaptability of my students. I chose to do things a certain way on purpose. I chose them, because I am a great teacher. Yes, I could have done a better job. That’s for next time. That’s for next class. That’s for tomorrow.

And, you know what? I’ve already set up the great stuff for tomorrow, and planned when to manage everything for the day after that and after that.

It’s okay not to be perfect at something, even though we are amazing at it. Even in dance – I am a highly trained and quite spectacular partner dancer, you see – I make mistakes. But, I think it is about how we recover from the mistakes that shows how spectacular we truly are. So, yes, I might have made some mistakes with things with classes so far this semester. Okay. Now, how do we move forward powerfully from those mistakes and from where we currently find ourselves? That is what matters most.

Huh… I don’t feel so lost in misery anymore… Yes, I’m a bit anxious about getting those things all done now that I want to do. But no, I don’t feel like I’m in trouble or have messed up horribly. Someone shall come observe my class next week, and it is going to be amazing…, because, even though I forgot it recently, I am amazing and I am an amazing teacher. God has blessed me greatly in this realm, and I’m ready to set flame to the world of my classroom. (Which, the students have already told me that I already have…, even though I had to ask them what they even meant, because I had felt like I was totally failing them as a teacher… They, however, were adamant that I had so far been the best teacher they had ever had in the subject… Pretty darn cool, huh? That’s the kind of thing I forget so often. I get lost in my head about having not done my best, and forget that even my not-best is still purty darn good.)

Thank you, God and Universe, for such a blessing in this life. Guide me to continue to be an expression of your love in the world, especially through my teaching and creativity. Amen.

Post-a-day 2021

le (gros) mot du jour

What could be better, more interesting, and more useful than simply the word of the day? The bad word of the day, of course. We cannot deny that, though we need not necessarily use bad words ourselves, it is important and valuable to know the bad words, so that we are able to recognize and understand what is being said in the world around us. Foreign language courses seem to avoid such things, but at what cost? Firstly, the individual is likely to be quite lost when interacting with a native environment. Secondly, loads of potential interest is lost without them. Because most teens and adults are quite interested in the bad words, whether they’re willing to admit it or not. And thirdly, such words and expressions share loads about the culture tied to the language.

I am very much not a bad word person. And yet two of my favorite words in Japanese are manko and oshiri. It’s probably because they are such silly yet useful words that I enjoy them so much. They are fun to know, more than useful. Which makes them even more fun to know, I suppose.

So, yeah… the (bad) word of the day sounds like a kind of amazing idea to me… so long as the students can handle it, that is…

Post-a-day 2021

Perspective

Why does education and race have to come into the conversation? Well, because there’s usually a very good reason for a stereotype. But being upset about the situation and merely perpetuating and allowing the stereotype to continue serves no one. Acknowledging where things truly stand, and then doing something to improve the education that perpetuates the stereotype, however… Now, that would serve us all, and very, very well.

Post-a-day 2021

Ouch

Pieces of him in pieces of me. Pieces of him where they shouldn’t be.

That’s from the book After You by Jojo Moyes. The character is speaking of the rust-colored blood staining the edges around her fingernails, the cracks on her fingers. It is not her own blood, but the blood of the man she has come to love more dearly than she ever knew she could love another again in her life. He has been shot twice while attempting to save a person’s life. The gang members who had caused the injury he was attempting to remedy did not want him to succeed, and so had shot him.

This is all too real for me. People argue and complain about privilege. And it makes me sick. Why must we as a society constantly ignore the fact that education kind of is everything? We see it evidenced over and over again in society that a certain degree of poor education produces a significantly increased output of life-threatening, of disrespectful, and of dangerous behavior. And as a cycle that runs on a generational repeat.

There is no “us” and “them” in life, not really. We make that whole concept up. There are people and there are people and there are people – before all else, we are people. And yes, there are loads of other species out there, but they aren’t the ones running around hurting people each and every day. People are. In fact, it also happens to be people who run around hurting those other species on this planet, too. In a way, people kind of suck.

But that’s when we are at our worst. With proper education, which includes a certain level of true love, we get to be the best versions of ourselves. And those are the versions who heal the world.

But, sometimes, they’re the ones who just get shot by the worst versions who never learned to understand that there is no “us” and “them”, and who never learned honest love, who never learned how to function beyond their fears and their ego-centric view on life*. If we learn minimal emotional states, we live in minimal emotional states. If we learn only one, negative point of view, we live in that single negative point of view. If we are only ever taught struggle and stress and that the world is out to get us, then we will live our entire lives believing to our very cores that there is no other way in life…

*I don’t say that meanly. It’s a genuine psychological thing, where a person is not able to view the world but from one, ego-centric angle, due to a lack of emotional and psychological development… due to high stress throughout childhood and poor education.

Post-a-day 2020

Let’s talk about sex (some more), baby

Somehow, I have found myself thinking about pornography lately.

And no, not in the sense of indulgence or grossness or anything like that.

In the sense of this question: How are people supposed to be exposed to the body, and to sexual interaction initially, to be informed on the subject and not have to be afraid of it all?

The unfortunate answer side seems to have only one measly answer: pornography.

And, while I very much dislike the intended use of pornography, I could understand it from an educational approach… well… the more vanilla side of it all, anyway.

It had me thinking how, in a traditional normal household, a child is somewhat likely, at least once in his life, to walk in on his parents having sex, right?

Right.

That exposure, to me, seems important and possibly necessary for that child.

However, I feel that that exposure alone is not enough for the child to develop a healthy relationship to the concept of sex.

How is he supposed to learn what a positive versus negative relationship with sex is?

How is he supposed to understand truly what is normal (and versus abnormal) for the human bodies of a male and female in the world of sexual interaction?

Many people, I suppose, would say that that‘s the whole point of someone’s first sexual interaction: awkward discovery.

(But many people don’t have that opportunity, and for many reasons…. It could be age difference, personality difference, an abuse history, or even fear of the whole thing…)

But what if it didn’t have to be like that most of the time, with so many people living in worry about getting it right or being good enough or knowing what to do or what is normal?

I’ve mentioned before about how these cave-people books talk about how certain women would be selected each summer to be the sexual guides for all the newly-established men of the tribes, and, when females were declared women, they would have a special ceremony, for which a specific man was selected to be the first sexual encounter for the newly-established woman.

No, they aren’t exactly the same approach, but they both have value, and I think a combination of them would be supremely valuable for a people as a whole.

What a beautiful way for people to learn the human body and sexual interaction in a healthy and loving way…

Granted, it only worked because the whole tribe would select carefully and consciously the people who would be the sexual guides, and there were various restrictions and rules about it all to keep everyone safe, both physically and emotionally/psychologically.

However, it worked beautifully, and everyone had a positive foundation in the realm of the human body and sexual encounters and relationships… they also knew when things were off, and were comfortable reaching out to others about it, because the body and sex were not taboo topics.

Hmm… anyway… just some thoughts… I don’t have plans to revolutionize the world with this, and I know it isn’t perfect, but I think it would be a great brainstorming start for our time in the world…

Post-a-day 2020

Education

I feel that one of the most valuable things that school could give a student at the time of the education (that is, while in school) is relevance and immediate applicability.

As we have been reading various books on utopias and dystopias in one of my classes this semester, so much of it all has become relevant in my life within a very short time of its initial introduction.  

The struggle one character has with God in this book, and how she finds change to be inevitable (and, therefore, God), applies to my life the week following my reading of it… I can relate to her struggle immediately, and then the change comes up in conversation and contemplation regarding my relationships with people in my life.

I think teachers, schools, curriculum planners aim to have books students read in school to be relevant to the students’ lives, but they often fall short of the mark… they miss the applicability of the ideas and actions somehow, and only assume that this specific struggle must be applicable to all students of this age… and it often isn’t.

From English class, we need concepts, ideas, brainstormed theories that we can learn to apply to any part of life…

For history class, a historical context would be only an enhancement of our understanding of what’s going on right now, what people are discussing from the news, and why it seems to matter so much… we hardly do more than regurgitate facts, and rarely know much about what they really were like or why it mattered to people who lived it (and therefore why it might matter to us).

I today was learning of a book about a man struggling in Russia, and, as I heard the details, I knew it was around the 1920s…, because of the Russian refugees in season four of “Downton Abbey”… there was a story in which I could invest myself, and ideas to which I could relate and from which I could draw my own ideas and conclusions, and the history just kind of stuck with the affinity for the people in the story…

I interested myself with the French Revolution recently, because I discovered the wonder of the film “The Scarlett Pimpernel”… and I remember details about the revolution because of how they connect with the story of the film and its characters.

The actual history became relevant and immediately applicable for me, because of my investment in the film.

The same is so with my investment in “Downton Abbey”.

How could I possibly relate to the Russian refugees or to the French upper class, when I merely read some statements of facts, names, locations, dates, and a summed-up given political meaning to it all?

I guess that’s why I remember just about nothing from my history classes in school…

Perhaps it everybody needs this kind of education, but everyone certainly could benefit greatly from it, I dare say.

You know what I mean?

Post-a-day 2019

Girl Rising

Tonight, I finally watched a film recommended to me by a couple of high school senior girls, called “Girl Rising“.

Before it even was finished, I found myself rather wanting to find a way to get myself funded to go over somewhere where teachers are needed, and to teach children (girls especially) everything I possibly can.

And I am now somewhat worried that I might actually end up doing something radical… like just that… or even finding a way to find a girls boarding school here somewhere, to bring girls who otherwise can’t afford anything, let alone education, and that will be this school I have considered and discussed so much in recent years, the one I have though about founding…

That seems even more absurd than my just going somewhere… somehow…

P.S. I recommend the film.

Post-a-day 2019

an absence of trust

I know it’s only a small amount of money for a transcript request, but I feel like the organization that feels that the individual applying and presenting his/her own information is not reliable enough not to have altered his/her transcript, such that it wants a copy directly from the college or university the individual attended, ought to be the one to pay for the transcript to be sent.  It is the one who feels that the student is unreliable, and yet the student is the one who has to pay for that?  Just seems a little too ridiculous.  If you don’t trust me, that’s okay.  But do your own research – don’t have me do it for you, when I’m already presenting you with the truth.  It’s along similar lines as saying someone doesn’t trust his girlfriend to be loyal, and so he has his girlfriend hire a private detective to follow herself around.  Sure, it’s a little drastic, but it’s the same concept…

Post-a-day 2018

Work your nerd

I found out today that my brother had felt unease about his nerdy knowledge on various topics.  Quite frankly, I had always admired him for said nerdiness.  Whenever he was interested in a topic, he’d do what he could to learn as much as possible in a short period of time.  And then, if it was something that he really enjoyed, how continued to learn about it in the years that followed, becoming ever more the genius on the topic.  Possibly the best part of it to me was that these often were topics that had almost nothing to do with his work or schooling – it was purely things that interested him.  Nowadays, he is still the same about it all, though he definitely has certain topics on which he could be considered an expert after so many years and hours of study and work dedicated to them.

I guess, growing up, I just didn’t know his world of friends and classmates and, eventually, colleagues, because I was so much younger than he was.  I had no idea that they didn’t know about his nerdy areas in his life, too.  They apparently only knew about his cool, chic, sporty side (from what I understand now).  He, it seems, was afraid of being rejected for his knowledge and studies.  Now, though, he has begun to embrace his nerdiness, and publicly so (think social media, etc.), and he has been discovering how much respect exactly that aspect of him; especially since he is cool, chic, and sporty, but loves knowledge and nerding out over certain things.  He is discovering that he had no need to be insecure about his interests and knowledge.  Plus, despite the fact that the public has been responding really well to his nerd side’s being exposed, he already knew that it doesn’t really matter what other people think of him anyway – that’s their own business, not his.  What matters is what he thinks about himself.  If he is happy with who he is, then there is no reason not to express that in his life.  So, he started finally expressing himself, nerdiness included.  Now that he has been doing that, he has also found that people are grateful to him for sharing himself and his passions with the world.  Super duper win-win, I say.  And I am proud of him doubly, for keeping up the nerdy knowledge, and now for sharing it with the world.  🙂

Post-a-day 2018

What to do with my life…

Nope, no idea.  I really haven’t any idea.  I mean, sure, I have loads of ideas all day long.  But I open up the page – that dreadful, white, blank page – and it all just seems to melt away.  It almost feels as though none of it ever existed in the first place.  It isn’t that I have a block.  It is that I have an empty slate.  And being able to create anything for this nothing is not only amazing, but mind-blowing.  I always look for direction, instruction, guidance…, and yet, does that direction, instruction, guidance, even if ever so slightly, take away from the me of it?  Does that not remove the me from the creation, and put at least a part of the result under the specifications of another, when it could have been all generated from me?  It could have been purely me, but I wanted outside direction.  But I want me and I want the blank slate… sort of.  I want the slate however it may be, but perhaps I would like to paint it first, and then begin to work (although the painting would be beginning already), because blank and solid and white is just not me.  Yes, yes… perhaps I just need to paint, and then create further and further from that initial coat.

Post-a-day 2018