On Writing and Teaching

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I would like to write about teaching, but I’ve discovered that when I’m in the process of doing something I can never actually write about it. I tried to write a blog in high school, which I recently deleted when I discovered upon reflection that I was a terrible person in high school and made the worst personal (and grammatical) choices. I tried my hand at a travel blog when I lived in France, but my five-day weekends made it really difficult to find the time (wink).  When I write about my family I tend to get overly sentimental (see previous post). And when I try to write about teaching and my experiences, reliving some of my most interesting days seems like a good idea, but as I write I begin to be consumed by fear. Terror washes over me in waves, and I remember how terrible my classroom management was this time last year. While some things have gotten MUCH better, I still tend to panic when I think about the possibility of my classroom looking like that again. Even writing about all of the positive things that are occurring in my classroom this year FREAKS ME OUT because I’m terrified that I will jinx the good! It needs to be said, though, and as I write about my students on Friday who were actually learning the phases of Mitosis (through song, no less!) and could recite what happens to the chromosomes in a cell during metaphase! That would NOT have happened in any of my science classes last year. While I’m thankful for these moments, I tend to focus on the things that aren’t going so well, like that one class that just won’t listen, or the student who told me I looked like Shaun White.

I wish I could write about the things that happen in the moment, though, because my fear is I will forget important details or will make factual errors later. I have some gifted, creative, hilarious students and I want to celebrate their achievements. They’re building robots and creating fascinating science fair projects and pushing me to challenge myself everyday, but all I can do when I get home is curl up into a ball and think through made-up scenarios for my classroom, my students, and myself that could potentially happen in the future or never happen at all. I also obsess about the potential diseases I’ve contracted from the amount of mosquitoes I’ve been forced to interact with since I’ve moved to Alabama. Also, how long does it take for the symptoms of rabies to take hold? Because I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I had a bit of a bat problem a while back. While we were able to eradicate all of the bats from the chimney and my closet, I still wonder if some bat saliva made it to my pillow and from there into my eye. My jaw has been clenching a little too often over the last few days…

I’ve come to the conclusion that I have two choices. I can either become a misanthropic witch who captures and eats unsuspecting vacuum salesmen knocking at my door, or I can engage with my neuroses in a healthy and creative way. Maybe that’s why I have such an oversized obsession with Woody Allen. The man can do no wrong (well, pre-Mia Farrow era, at least). This is probably also why I’m attracted to men with abnormally large noses. Regardless, I have to use writing as an outlet. Otherwise, I’m going to go on a Netflix binge until I fuse to my couch and become a potato-chip -covered-blob that is indistinguishable from Jabba the Hutt.

That being said, for anyone who is curious, I will not be writing about my students, my classroom, or any of my experiences with Teach For America any time soon. I very rarely did so last year, and I don’t see it happening now. Many of my peers have blogs, and I respect it completely! Some of them are really fantastic and it’s inspiring to see what their students are doing! But I’m going to need some time for serious reflection before I tell any of my tales.  So, in conclusion, this is my statement of intent for this blog. This blog will be full of anecdotes about living in the south, travel experiences from the past, pictures of cheesy things I’ve cooked in the microwave, and probably the occasional piece about my bunion (it’s massive…anyone who has seen my feet can attest to it). My goal is to update every Sunday afternoon at first, and then pick up from there. Please check in then! I’ll continue to post on FB when I have a new post!

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One response to “On Writing and Teaching

  1. I’m glad to hear you’re doing well & I’m glad you decided to follow my blog. I’d been gone for a while, but I’m back to writing again. 🙂

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