Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Okay, Then

Again, it's been a long time. How is it that so much water passes under the bridge?  No matter.  It's passed.  It's gone. Eyes front.

A lot has changed since last I was here.  First, it appears that Blogger has been sucked up by the Google monster.  It took me several minutes just to figure out how to get into my blog.  It might look the same on the outside, but it is much changed in the innards.  I'll figure it out.  I suppose most of the changes have been for the better (although, I suspect that more bugs and surveillance-type widgets are floating around in there, now, keeping track of me and you and everyone we know).

A friend of mine, the new author of the new blog Charlie and His Human, emailed me recently asking to link to my blogs.  I said yes, but I warned him that it had been a long time since last I posted.  And, just like a year ago, when outside voices plucked my writerly heart strings and stirred me to resurrect Central Standard, I was moved to consider this neglected aspect of my former habitry. (I am fully aware that "writerly" and "habitry" are not actual words, but I like how they sound, so I am keeping them.  After all, if the writer can not coin a word, who can?)

So, here I am again.  I might give you a summarized version of the last year, but, like I said earlier: eyes front.  Let me tell you about what I like to call my new philosophy for the new school year.  I call it the "Okay" philosophy.  What it basically entails is a concerted effort to limit my carping, complaining, and other unhealthy behaviors.  I have never been much of a negative person.  I don't complain much, but I do it enough that I am aware that it is a drain on my energy and my attitude.

It started over the summer when I read a tweet (Yes, I am a Twitter-er.  Follow me (I hate even typing that.) @Reda_AT.) from a fellow teacher that read something to the effect of: complaining at work steals from time you could be dedicating to your kids.  To a mildly cynical person such as myself, my first reaction was: shut up.  But, the more I though about it, the more sense it made to me.  After all, why am I in this business of teaching anyway?  The money? No. The short hours? Ha ha...no. I'm in it because it makes me feel good to know that I am trying my best to make the world a better place by trying my best to teach kids to be better communicators, thinkers, citizens, and human beings. It's important work, and I should dedicate as much of my self as I can to doing that job to the best of my ability (my predilection for making up words like "habitry" notwithstanding).

With that in mind, I have decided that where work is concerned, when I am asked to do something by administrators, department heads, etc., my reaction will be "okay."  And, then, I will do it to the best of my ability.  When asked how things are going, my response will be "okay." And I will try to develop that response with something positive that has happened on that day.  Now, I understand that not everything we are asked to do by administrators and others has a direct positive effect on students, but the genesis of the idea that they are trying to put in place most likely came from that "what's best for kids" place.  And I know that just saying I'm okay doesn't have a direct effect on my students.  However, if I can maintain an attitude of positivity, how might that affect my classes?  And, more importantly, how much better might be the quality of all of my work, if it is being accomplished by a content, positive person?  I have to think that the effect of that might be pretty powerful.

And, of course, I know that I can't be something I am not.  I will not be some sort of Pollyanna, happy doofus, walking around with rainbows coming out of every orifice. I have never been that kind of person.  As a matter of fact, ironically, that sort of person kind of makes me ill.  I will have a bad day or two, and I will let slip a negative word to someone, somewhere at work.  I am sure I already have.  But, I have, thus far, been able to keep this sort of positive, peaceful attitude going for three weeks, already.  As a result, I am still tired, still working ten hours a day, still behind with grading and planning.  But, this year more than any other, that's okay.

5 comments:

Toddly said...

Thanks for mentioning "Charlie and his human"! I'm happy you have resurrected the blog with invented words (similar to Shakespeare). I support the positive intentions in your work this year because I know that can be a difficult undertaking! Welcome back!

Melissa Dowler said...

Welcome back and here's to being ok! This might be some good reading for you.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27m_OK,_You%27re_OK

I now have to enter characters to prove I'm not a robot when I want to enter comments here but I swear, no human being could read the letters Google is giving me. Now on my third try!

Anthony Reda said...

Thanks for the welcome back, Toddly. I hope I can stick around awhile, this go 'round.

Melissa: I share your frustration with the anti-robot protection font-style. I wonder if all humans share our inability to read anti-robot print, or if this means a) we have a disability or b) we are part robot. Thanks for the link, I recall that book (at least its title), and I have always adhered to the philosophy implied by its title. Along with Andy Warhol's simple "I think everybody should like everybody" and a few of Abraham Lincoln's more memorable phrases, I have a fully developed world view...not really.

Toddly said...

I think you can turn off the anti-robot thing... at least I believe I was able to on my blog because I was tired of trying 5 times to enter in some string of characters I can't read when I post on other pages!

Jami Wade said...

You're on Twitter? What the What?