Monday, January 01, 2007

Existential resolution

Someone commented that for a teacher, I don't blog much about my teaching or my students. I think there are various reasons I don't do that. One of them has to do with the type of blog it is. It isn't the type of blog that is a platform for self-righteous indignation at the bureaucratic mismanagement that occurs in any civil service. Another has to do with self-preservation. Institutions tend to adopt a defensive stance against any sort of criticism, constructive or otherwise so the wise way around it, rant about it to friends if need be, but never leave a paper trail or in this case a cyber trail that could be used against you in court or the boss's office.

Other sensitivities that could be offended might be the students if I blogged about them. It would be stupid to assume that they don't know the blog exists and it might be okay with them if I sang praises about them on the blog, but most of the time, if I wanted to blog about students, it would be because they say/do inane things that are priceless. One might say, they should take it in jest and in the spirit that it was written, but experience has taught me that they won't. Well, some won't anyway, why make my job even more difficult by giving them more reason to be students who are reluctant to learn?

But I think the most important reason is that my job doesn't define who I am. It's part of the landscape but it's not what I'm made of. So, because of that, I don't see my blog as a day by day, blow by blow account of what happens in school or in the classroom. I blog about what amuses me or annoys the heck out of me. And if everything that amuses or annoys me happens in school, then I lead a very sad life. At this point, I need to say that I'm not attacking any blog that's dedicated to what happens in the life of a teacher.

It leads to a more existential question though and I suppose the new year is a place as good as any to think about it. My job doesn't define me. It's something I do, it's something that pays the bills, it's something that keeps me occupied for the better part of the year but it's not me. In the last few weeks, I've been trying to figure that out. What is me? For most of my life, I've always been proud of the multiple definitions of me (not to be confused with multiple personalities, even though that would be cool too). But much has happened in the last year that has swung me from one end of the spectrum, to be satisfied with one definition of myself, to where I am now, yearning to redefine myself beyond the obvious.

2007 will definitely play a large role in such definition, it is a year of change. I know I am about to discover new facets of myself, but that's not enough for me. My resolution for this year is to, like I say, go beyond the obvious, beyond the traditional and to attempt to find a deeper and more satisfying answer to so obvious yet so impossible a question.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 11:42

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