Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31, 2011 - Change in Attitude; School Stories

Yesterday was my toughest experience writing for this blog. Unfortunately I spent too much energy trying to get what I wanted to say out there and I never got around to what I really wanted to do and that’s writing. Aside from the fact that I’m still not happy with my last entry, the experience has given me writer’s block, which I’m going to try and tackle with a little warm up here.

Change in Attitude

Even though I think I’ve spoken about my personal life enough, I just wanted to say that I feel that I’m in a better place today than I was before. Putting all of my thoughts into the written word, both the piece that I published and the one I didn’t, helped me to think things through and in a better way.

I realized from working through it all that I have a pretty good life so far and I’m proud of who I am, whether or not I am anybody’s number one. It’s funny, but during all of the relationships in my life, my confidence and self-esteem always tend to wane. Though he probably doesn’t even realize it, Joe shattered my self-esteem for years, leaving it in tatters by the time we broke up. That’s probably why it took me three years to get over it.

This past relationship took me to the same place where that was concerned, only in a different way. He never put me down or made me feel bad about myself like my previous relationship, but the consistent worrying about our fate together worked to tear down that confidence I had gained over the summer. I fell quickly and I got hurt. I suffered from the loss and now I’m beginning to believe for the first time in weeks that whatever happens, I’ll be alright in the end.

Life is all about attitude, and this past weekend was a wakeup call that I needed to change mine. The last time he and I separated, I was a literal mess. I’d grown accustomed to having someone out there and felt a huge void when he left. This time I’m realizing that I can’t live my life for a dream that may or may not come to fruition. I haven’t changed my mind about him, but I’m looking at things from a better perspective now.

Examining my life through my writing works wonders for me. It forces me to think long and hard and I know that from yesterday I’ve already gained back some confidence in myself. I’ve got people around me who love me and I appreciate each and every one of them, as I know they do for me. Living for another person does neither one good. The only way any relationship can work is for both people to complement each other, to love and support one another in their endeavors, and allow them to do their own thing when they need to. When it’s one-sided, that’s when things go terribly wrong, as it did with Joe and I. I promise myself to remember this the next time around.

School, Glorious School

Today was a crazy day at school. I’m not sure if I was just in a bad mood or what…I didn’t feel like I was, but a couple of things happened that I look back now and say were pretty comical. The first thing was one I had expected. For the past couple of days I’ve been developing a pimple right next to my eyebrow in plain sight, and it’s not pretty. As I expected from past experience, one of my students felt the need to tell me that I had a pimple on my forehead.

“Really?” I asked him, sarcastically. “Thanks for telling me. I had no idea it was there.” Kids!

A couple of periods later I was reviewing some vocabulary words with another class. When I said one of the words aloud, one of my other students felt the need to repeat it in Spanish. I don’t know, but her action got me off on a tangent that I get into once in awhile about us living in America and this being an E, as in English, SL class. It was all in good fun, even though I meant a lot of the things I said (Hmmm, an idea for a piece!).

I’ve been teaching for 8 years now and I can say from my experience that the Spanish kids learn English at a much slower pace, in general, than kids whose native language is one other than Spanish. I believe that’s because in this country we make it too convenient for Spanish speakers not to learn English. I mean, everywhere I turn it’s “toca numero uno para espanol” or “para espanol, apriete numero dos.” I’ve got Turkish, Russian and Polish students who’ve become proficient in English in two years and yet my Spanish ones stay in my program for seven. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

Anyway, back to my story. Because it was this particular girl who had started me off, much of my ‘lecture’ was directed at her. She’s relatively new in my classroom and so she’d never heard this rant of mine before. The other kids were smirking and chuckling to themselves as I went on, but she soon developed a very serious look on her face.

I stopped talking and asked her if she was alright. Her lips started to quiver. She was on the verge of tears. “You were yelling at me,” she finally answered. I tried my best to calm things down and eventually I did, but not before she had to wipe a few tears away. It was the first time in eight years I ever made a student cry! Me, one of the most soft-spoken, kindest people I know! The girl came back a couple of periods later and we had a nice long talk to smooth things over, but I’m going to have to remember this the next time I go off on a rant…

Am I mean?


Once again, thanks for reading. Stay tuned for more…

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