I had a conversation with a colleague yesterday, someone who teaches science, and we spoke about the interconnected nature of all the subjects. It started as a discussion about science teachers being able to teach Jekyll and Hyde better than some English teachers because they know so much about how the world of science was developing at the time it was written.
We mused that it is such a shame that subject teachers don’t dot around in other lessons more often. We can bring so much to another area that I feel the kids must miss out a bit with us keeping the subjects in their own separate boxes.
What if the English department taught some drama and art? What if the historians taught some English? What if the scientists delivered some food tech lessons? Those subjects wouldn’t suffer in the slightest; in fact, they would help the kids to flourish.
We then got onto how much we can all get out of literature and it made me feel really proud and excited to be teaching the subject. It really reminded me how much we learn from reading fiction. I always think that reading is entertainment, but actually I squirrel away bits of information that I find in every text I read.
We can expand our worlds infinitely through books and it makes me really sad that a lot of the students miss out on that because their parents don’t value books.
Right now I’m reading Blood and Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson. It’s all about the slave trade and the abolitionists. I knew about the slave trade through the protests that happened this summer but I had never read into it and my reading is filling me in on some of the horrors that took place. Essentially, my reading is making me look a little less ignorant and a little more like a person that is thoughtful and interesting and compassionate.
My parents split up last year and my mum pushed me away too. No matter what I did to try and fix the situation, it just seemed to get worse and worse. Now she just listens to her sister and I can’t even have a dialogue with her without it having to go through my aunt.
I’m writing this to get it out in the air just how much that hurts. I think that the rejection of a mother must be the hardest pain to bear. To know that somebody who gave birth to you and raised you can’t stand to talk to you is so painful.
I guess I’ve always known that she doesn’t like me much and I think that it has led to a lot of the problems I’ve had in the past. I literally walk into situations already thinking that I’m going to fail, because if my own mother hates me then why should these other people like me?
I hope that there is a reason for this really painful time in my life because I feel like I’m nursing a broken heart. And I feel like everyone can see how hated I am which sometimes makes me just want to curl up and hide from the world.
I spent the entirety of my twenties worrying that everyone was perfect and I was the only one with any flaws. I saw the other school mums who had loving husbands and beautiful houses and I had none of that. It was hard to bear witness to, but it was all a lie.
It took a lot of therapy but I soon realised that we all have problems and a lot of it goes on behind closed doors. Those Stepford Wives that I wanted to be just like, they have arguments with their husbands and their kids sometimes misbehave. It’s human to have ups and downs and none of these people are robots.
We all struggle and it’s especially the case at this time of the year. Even the most put together person is probably going to have a cry at some point this week, so don’t worry about it. Just get your turkey in the oven and enjoy some good food. If you get through it without killing anyone you’ve probably done quite well.
At least that’s what I think as I walk through this world
Watching the hot shots and players, moving in packs.
You might think it’s harder to make it to cool,
It’s a status we all wish for, that is for sure.
But isn’t it harder to let that guard slip?
Isn’t it tougher to show your soft centre,
Your flaws and your fears?
Running in packs is easy to do,
But bounding along on your own special course,
There is danger in that and it lurks in wait.
It hides in the grasses waiting to pounce,
The moment your uncoolness opens you up
To all of the ridicule coming your way.
Better to change the stripes that you wear
To something more spotty and fierce.
You don’t want to be the next casualty
On this animal plain.
So get in your box and pretend to be cool,
The alternative choice is far less attractive,
It’s the well worn choice of every known fool.
“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”
Lester Bangs, Almost Famous
It’s like the Serengeti out there if you think about it. There are the cool kids out on the playground and they are the Cheetahs of the world. And then there are the ones like me who bound around in a world of their own. They’re not cool, but they’re having fun just being themselves.
It only takes a chink in your armour and the big cats can attack though. And they will drag you down as hard as they can because that’s how they maintain their place at the top.
You may argue that it’s really hard to become one of those cool kids, but actually it’s harder to be uncool. Because being uncool means showing all of yourself, even the really embarrassing or negative parts of yourself. There is a vulnerability in it and that takes strength.
So, you might think you want to be one of the popular kids in your workplace or church or community, but really you should be aspiring to be one of the uncool ones. That’s where the real you lies and where you will find the deepest connections with others. And that’s a wonderful place to be if you have the strength to allow yourself there.
I’m relatively new to the world of haiku so I’ve been playing around with the format quite a bit recently. The thing is, I can’t seem to use it for anything serious or meaningful. All I want to do is write something fun because it’s just too short to do anything else. I’m sure there must be other people out there who feel the same? Am I right?
Anyway, here are two of my early attempts. The first is called Hollywood Drama and the second is all about the B word. Everyone in Britain will be clicking away from this post immediately but imma gonna go there anyway….
today i dropped a piece of toast, buttered side down
and it made me think of gravity and that clever guy,
the one who had an apple fall upon his head.
i wondered if he really knew, if he had a fucking clue
what it was that made it fall from its place within the tree.
the toast would fall no matter what,
it didn’t matter whether science
could stake a claim in what it was that made it fall.
we’re all just trying really hard
to pull together all the pieces
and make some sense of what is going on.
so i picked it from the floor and dusted off the fluff.
today i learnt what science really is,
it’s just a way for clever people
to put the world in little boxes
and give them each a name.
I had a conversation with my son about science and religion today. I think that the two coexist and I think that this Tim Minchin quote sums it up quite well. As humans, we are naturally very curious and the world is a confusing place. So it makes sense that we would want to understand everything about it. But we never are going to understand it all. It’s too huge for us to even comprehend, but science helps us put labels on the bits that we’ve explored.
Helpful, but my piece of toast is still going to fall face down so……
I really hope that my words resonate with some people out there because this is a fear that has crippled me over the years. I’m not sure if it is down to some repressed trauma; maybe I got locked in a cupboard when I was naughty back when I was three?
I can joke about it but the fear of being asked into the office has made my life a living nightmare. Every time it happens I can feel myself sweating and my heart palpitating. And then nine times out of ten, whatever my manager wanted to say to me is positive anyway!
I think that a lot of this fear comes from my own insecurities. I constantly worry that I’m going to get pulled up for doing something wrong and a lot of the time this prevents me from even starting something. I sometimes wonder where I may have gotten to in my career if I had been more fearless and cared less about the dreaded office. I wish that I had known in my twenties that it’s fine to get something wrong. We all make mistakes and that’s how we grow and develop into strong and wise people.
If you are struggling with the fear of the office, try to see it as a place of growth. I understand how it quite literally feels like a tomb, like a place that I’m never going to escape from once that door closes behind me. It’s about as scary as being buried alive for me, so I know that it’s worthy of a panic attack. There is nothing to be ashamed of in feeling this frightened but do draw strength from the knowledge that there are lots of us that feel the same. I pray that you find strength and that next time you are called into the office there is a positive outcome.