16 November 2009

this time I as I, and not as we

Today I was talking to one of my 11th graders who is having trouble writing her essay that's due Thursday. She feels like her thoughts are all tangled and she has no idea how to get out on paper what she is trying to say. Obviously, this is a problem I've had over the years, more with oral communication than written...but I've had to read my writing with a critical eye, piling words and arguments like a child would blocks until all of my components are present. Getting started was always the hardest. I had to learn to pour myself out onto the page, unfiltered and raw, and worry about purity and structure later. That's when I found myself saying to her, "That's why I have my blog. It's my raw space." Of course, she then wanted to know the URL, which is not happening. First of all, I'm uncomfortable with my students knowing my personal thoughts to that degree, and secondly, there's something so reassuring about sending my thoughts out into this vastness, touching immaterial forms, like they're flowing into the sea. I write here what I can't say to anyone, and it's so important that I have that sounding board, because otherwise I bottle it up and get want-to-cry headaches that pain me throughout the day.
Sometimes when I have a moment to breathe, I wipe away the negativity and the stress and the words of the haters and realize that overall, I'm in a good place right now. I still lack balance, and I wish I were better...I wish it came easier. I wish my words flowed like a stream instead of like debris projectiling from a wrecking ball. I wish that I had friends here and that I had more hours in the day. But my students are loving, and for all of the problems that come with the 10th graders, I know that I've positively affected at least one child every day. I may be too exhausted and cranky to realize it in the moment, but afterwards, I can take a step back and realize that on the disaster continuum of first-year teachers, I'm probably doing pretty well.
I took these photos today. Dried roses + glitter + teacups + crochet + crystal garlands= lovely.

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