Saturday, February 7, 2009


I'm usually good at not taking things personally; it's pretty much the most important rule of survival in teaching [other than "Do not sleep with students" of course, which I am beyond exemplary at obeying FYI]. But occasionally, maybe due to moon phases & hormones, I slip up and let things affect me.

For example, the young Anakin - who is no longer in any of my classes since the quarter change but still owes hours & a project to earn his credit - spent 15 minutes alternately saying "I don't know" and "This is stupid" while I was trying to help him through his Catcher in the Rye project before muttering "Holden's just weird, he likes writing and gets along with his English teacher, I've never met an English teacher I like." Gee, thanks. I know, intellectually, he has issues plaguing him that I can't begin to understand and his attitude reflects them; it has little if anything to do with me and my value as a person & teacher. Still.

Yet on the other hand, I should also know better than to take a bow anytime a student professes that I am THE BEST TEACHER EVER. It feels fine, but really their experiences are limited, they're reacting to my patient & kind demeanor (yes, I do have one), they are simply well-adjusted forward-thinking individuals who appreciate my enthusiasm for a subject. So I try to send all comments directed at me through a credibility filter and keep on keepin' on.

However, when I get a personal message from a member of my favorite band OR have an actual Facebook IM conversation [okay, we exchanged about 60 words, 50 of them mine...] with another member, I immediately have visions of hanging out with them backstage, where they find me immensely witty & delightful and wonder why they never invited me before. When I've stalked them. Via e-mail and Facebook and throwing my Bad Mom card onstage with a message of love.

CRAZY PERSON UPDATE, 1:02: Brian (we're like *this*) just chatted with me, too! Even included a winking emoticon! Feel free to send cash for my therapy sessions.