Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stirred by a word

Fedaykin said my blog this year has been - in a word - pathetic.  Can't say I blame him for the brutally honest assessment.  I have looked over the year and wondered, "Where did it go?"  Events made up my year, more so than thoughts, definetely more so than strokes of inspiration or even creativity. 

My writing has ceased entirely.  I haven't written anything creative all year, perhaps longer.  I haven't missed it entirely, taken up as I have been with theatrical endeavor after theatrical endeavor.  Seven Brides, Drama Club, Sister's Wedding, Crucible, Pregnancy...Some of course being more theatrical than others. :) 

I don't even believe I've had a creative thought that didn't have to do with positioning baby furniture, building set, arranging flowers or communicating with an actor.  My kids have stopped asking me to tell them stories, because I've been so preoccupied, I've told them I can't think of any. 

Is this sad?  I don't know.  Who is missing it, honestly?  I've been VERY happy.  It's not until I read past journals or meanderings of thought and see that for years my soul has been tied up in the ambition of being a true writer that I wonder what I've neglected.  Maybe nothing.  To everything there is a season, yes?  I have seen it to be so; the Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills and all that.  

Anyone notice my tone?  It has nothing to do with the current topic, however.  We've been having difficulties with my son's school.  In fact, if my son's school had a face, I would punch it.  I have heard and seen things quite troubling and been told that it is the way it is, and that as long as test scores over all remain high, then my son must be in need of drugs to bring him up to everyone else's speed.  This is of course a very short telling of a very long and involved story.

I am surprised by my emotional reactions to this situation.  Lori described me as a Mama Bear on a Facebook quiz.  I did not agree with her choice in animal until two weeks ago.  I have done my utmost (and succeeded) in not letting the Mama Bear rampaging inside me to leak out into reality as I've attempted to manuver and handle this situation.  Instead I've been the one thing I never thought possible of myself: diplomatic.  And what have I learned?  Diplomacy sucks.  Yeah, you heard me.  Diplomacy might work if there was mutual respect between the parties.  But these teachers do NOT have respect for me, nor do they respect the option that my son might be individual. 

And all the while, they tell me their opinions of him and I see myself in their descriptions.  I point it out and they look at me as though they were wondering how to get me on drugs, too. 

I was the girl in fourth grade who, when berated by the teacher for not doing my classwork, would instead fill in the blanks thus:  "If I were in charge I would: fire all the teachers in the world, especially you, you stupid dummy." Liam doesn't do that - he has a much stronger moral compass and isn't confrontational with authority.  But he will ignore them if he wants to.  As I grew up, I did the same things.  I would open up Jurrassic Park rather than listen to my PreAlgebra teacher.  I would write stories for hours on end rather than listen to the ramblings of my Biology teacher.  Did I get the best grades?  No.  Did I even get grades that reflected my intelligence?  Not even close...I bet my past teachers were just DYING for the chance to NAME my malady and drug me into submission. I guess that because that is what these teachers are looking for now. 

I've illustrated some teachers/teaching situations that I ignored.  Let me for a moment say a word for those who inspired me:  Mrs. Georgis - 1st grade introduced me to theater and told me to use my special talents and abilities to my advantage.  Mrs. Bonini told me I should write, because I had a great mind.  Mrs. Harrison gave me books and let me immerse myself in them, guessing that I would learn more by doing that, than by doing what everyone else in class was.  Mrs. Chady who challenged me to think bigger and more, to harness my confrontational demeanor into useful debates or to protect others.  Mrs. Jensen who brought Shakespeare to my awareness, and found that I had a talent with it.  Mrs. DeHart who taught despite my refusal to think within her box, and would take the time to prove her theories.  She made literature come alive.  Mrs. Miya who made history relevant. 

Come to think of it, all the teachers who worked for me were literature and writing centered.  I don't remember a single science or math teacher that clicked with my brain until college.  Oh, and they allowed me to ask questions without being put out.

I learned with pictures and concepts.  Memorization of facts has only been my strong suit when it comes to movies or theater or books.  What is the pythagorean theorum?  I don't know.  Who starred in the 1954 version of Jane Eyre?  That I know.  I could even tell you the famous siblings of the stars and quote a few lines and explain why the film noir version did good and bad for the storytelling. 

My son is like that.  What I can't figure out is why the hell teachers think there's something WRONG with it.  He remembers science and concept math like I remember the names and associations of performers. 

Basically I'm just frustrated. In the meantime I will do what I can to teach him, since his teachers are unwilling to take the time to do so themselves.  When I asked for their curriculum so I could teach him before he comes to school, they were thrilled that I would be taking over.  So I guess that's what I can do, since I'm not allowed to move him to another school or even to another class. 

I will teach my son, because no one else will.  I guess then it's a good thing he's got me.  Just as much as it's a good thing I get him.  I love him more than I can say, and in a way I am grateful for this horrible situation which has thrown my love and devotion to him into great relief.  I see my love now.  And my son will get that chance, too; and very soon.