Wednesday, April 6, 2011

education and drive part 1 (autobiographical)


School and education in general is a lot like driving a car.  The students tail-gate the teacher.  The students sometimes get frustrated and speed out into the night, only to run out of gas eventually…somewhere…
            I’m not a teacher yet, but I have been toying with the idea.  Throughout the day I become a teacher.  When I’m in the grocery store with someone and a child comes running out of nowhere, I say the child needs structure and activity—something with which their energy can be applied. 
            I have been focusing on the physical part of myself.  Psychology had taught me that there exists in everyone a brain and a mind.  My plan has been to exercise the body and that would exercise the brain.  My overall goal is to enhance the mind.
            Water hung in the air earlier this morning, and it reminded me of the way my body reacted to the cold water after a dozen laps.  It had been six in the morning and I had complete focus on the last thing that had importance—a dream about the abandoned houses on my block and the bit of 90s radio heard from the classic rock station playing from a late 80s stereo sitting next to some qualified lifeguard making money before their first class at the local community college.
            I had taken some classes at the local community college.  They had been summer courses with short drives from the house that had always been my home to the edge of town.  The drives always involved the window down and always involved sunglasses.  The sound of the memories are catchy lyrics and crunching guitars; Weezer’s album Maladroit.  And on the last day of the summer courses it always rains.  Fall begins and more courses like teaching methods for English teachers and the educational foundations, courses that make me something more than a well-rounded person with basic, general education with the likes of politics and psychology and speech.
            During today’s drive I didn’t have the window down.  My dad took it upon himself to fix the air-conditioner.  Since then, I’ve noticed a major difference with my appearance, especially my hair.  I don’t listen to Weezer anymore.  Instead, I pride myself with music like Antony and the Johnsons.  I pride myself in the emotion in the singing and the variety of instruments, like the violin and piano. 
I’m standing in the hallway of a school I may have attended once, and that was a long time ago.  I only know this because the gymnasium looks familiar.  The memory I have is of walking to the bench where my friends are sitting and watching my coach point to the court.  He tells me to go in.
            The teacher I’m working with is encouraging, but often I find the time passes me by when I hang out after class and talk about “what-if” in sports seasons; “Last night the Blackhawks had a chance to score against St. Louis, but the best player was in the penalty box.  But, what if he had been out there?”  And when we’re not talking about sports, the conversation is awkward, usually about how teaching was only supposed to be temporary, and then he got serious with his girlfriend and bought a cat.  They stayed together for the cat, and next thing, of course, the girlfriend is pregnant.
            It’s surreal to be accepted by the old, probably because a large part of youth is spent in competition with them; first, the young are like domesticated animals—say anything to them and they laugh.  When the youth gets older, much like society, a major paradigm shift occurs—the youth demand independence because the authority is wrong.
            From age 12 to 21 it appears that anger is bottled inside the mind as fuel for change.  The separation of youth and the old is underway and in the distance a war is about to be recognized.    What was once a war between youth and the old is a battle between individuals, members of the same species.
            I wasn’t born at the right time to see it happen but there are records of movements such as civil rights and animals rights.  First, black were not part of the same species.  Next, women were not part of the same species.  Now, we can see a question being raised about animals being a part of a grander picture—a grander concept of those that suffer.
            When I enter the school now as a 22 year-old, I am greeted with the kind of seemingly endless conversation that only the most deprived 20-something would go on about when I, unknown to the chaotic day’s events the individual has since suffered, as “What’s going on?” or “Hi, how are you?”  The point I’m making here: the same people who sit in your college courses and ramble un-apprehensively about their day, telling you their life story, also exist.
            Like in my youth, I know I can only get by so far by wearing nice clothes and working out like a motherfucker.  The first time I ran into this wall was with a girl named _____ Wallace (insert random first name).  Her last name said it all.  My life was a poker game and she won Ace-high.  What I worked hard to have came naturally to her.  What I learned from this was how to have someone completely, like taking over a territory, and then learn the land didn’t really belong to anyone.
            2010 election results.  I voted green party candidate, so my party didn’t win; however, I do have to act according to those default laws since I live here.  Clearly, then, the motto of my country is that the majority rules; multicultural relativism, to an extent.  Those who have studied ethics know that this only sounds good on the surface. 
            I was disappointed to discover the reality of my immediate society’s beliefs.  It was a shock, primarily because we all look incredible on the outside—well-groomed and smiling.  Personally, as an easily-frightened and socially awkward person, I believe that everyone I ever see is better and smarter.  Even those who look unkempt are balanced, smart, and trendy, with shoes they have worn for years and had repaired at the local cobbler and nice, button-up shirts that fit them perfectly because they know their neck size and arm length and eat a balanced diet and work out daily to remain fit.
            It was not until recently that I reached the source of my social anxiety.  I had to first infiltrate the social groups on a common subject and then shyly ask questions about human maintenance (hint; talk about music).  I currently work out twice a day except for Saturday—the only day off.  Doing the math just now, I see my workouts consume 4 hours of the total 16 hours I am awake.

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