Stating the Obvious

I used to have this quote at the top of this blog, "Alla dagarna som kom och gick, inte visste jag att det var livet." It means, "All those days that came and went- I had no idea that was what life was." Or something. I'm not a good *translator. I saw it engraved in a block of wood above the door of the kitchen in a little old lady's house in Sweden.

If we are really to live all of these days that are coming and going, and to believe that this is all that life is, then we have to really consider our life's work, right? (This is whole thing is a grammatical nightmare- is it our lives' works? Our live's work? Anyway, you get the picture.)

I don't know if I'm really a good teacher. I don't know if this is how I want to spend all those days, coming and going. Today, however, I got bored without it, with the snow day. I really did. So strange.

Sometimes, I think it would be easier to be a stand-up comic, because the audience would heckle less.

I started this thing, though, where I keep track of good days and bad days in the two classes I teach. It's very simple. I just put a happy face or a sad face on the calendar for each class. If I were to tally them at this point, I think it's over 90% happy faces. And yet I obsess over the bad days. Yesterday, there were two unhappy faces, and then with today off, it gave me all that time to think.

At root, the problem with being a teacher is the same problem as with most jobs: you can't feel free to be your true self at work. I feel like I'm in a harness there, trying to walk the line. It's not that I'm some horrible person, but it's that I'm always in a position of authority there, and I'm not really always an authority on anything. The idea of me as constant authority is ludicrous.

Every job I've had has been somewhat like this. Sometimes, I was representing a company. I was required to say things. Now I'm just required to teach things. It's all the same.

All these days that come and go- how do you reconcile the work self with the personal self? The real self with the contrived self you created to get by?

I'm not at all unique. Everyone I know (almost) has this issue. You just don't really like your job. Sometimes, it's tolerable. Sometimes you despise it. Sometimes, if you're lucky, you love it.

It sounds really odd, but I think the ideal job is one you can be completely apathetic about. If you can just say, "Okay. Whatever." And never obsess in bed at night. Or worry if you're good enough at it. Just be there when you're there, not there when you're not there. And then you don't waste all of these days that come and go worrying about crap, because these days, these days are your life. How you spend them, that's how you spent your life.

You never know if you'll look back on this time some day and realize that this time, right now, this was the best time of your life. So I guess we should do the new Wisconsin theme, and **live like we mean it. Cliches like this, though, they're not real advice.

Alla dagarna som kom och gick... do I just spend too much time with teenagers? I'm taking everything so seriously. BAH used to call me Shoshanah E. Newman, because I never worried about anything.

* (I think in Swedish when I hear Swedish, and to translate it is like making my brain coexist in two dimensions at once. I don't know how professional translators do it.)

** I'm so sorry. I just had to post a link to that picture. The old Wisconsin theme was better, anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Very few people are their real self at work. I think if you can get to be your real self with your family, then you are doing better than most people.

    Anyway, I bet you are a great teacher.