Monday, March 2, 2009

Perspective (Leah)

I’ve really wanted to post something on here, but sometimes life gets so busy being lived it’s hard to find time to do much reflection. Or, as may be the case right now, sometimes the living and reflecting of life just gets so serious that it’s hard to find reflections fitting to share with the masses. This weekend, though, I had a lot of good bonding time with solid girl friends that helped bring some clarity to my thinking. Perspective seemed to be a running theme. Then this morning I was reading an email my brother sent to the family and I noticed a part of it could relate to my ideas of perspective. First let me share what he wrote. I’ll preface this to say he is a first year teacher. He has said that this is the hardest job he’s ever had. The teachers out there may enjoy his thoughts in relation to the profession; I did.

“I used my day off to outline some more chemistry. By the end of this year I will have essentially my own mini high school chemistry textbook. I’ve gotten less creative as the pressure of time has blown the petals off my week. Creativity is a time intensive product, which demands concentration and a lot of patience. ‘Patience is a virtue, catch it if you can. Seldom in a woman, never in a man.’ I’ve also started making mini-lectures online to accompany my mini-textbook. The problem is I don’t have all the necessary equipment to do the job that I want to do, so I have to settle for mediocrity and pray to Salieri for forgiveness (a reference for those who’ve seen Amadeus). I post my lectures on you-tube and use it as another tool to convince my students that it is their own fault that they are failing my class. I never realized how guilt-inducing a student’s failure is on a teacher. I’m trying everything I can to shake my clothes in front of them and not be lazy in my responsibility to teach. Nevertheless, the guilt still haunts me and I try to think of ways to reach them and motivate them. Pom-poms anyone?

“School starts tomorrow and it is a long stretch before our next break. I hope I can maintain the necessary patience to withstand the hurricane storm of complaints that my students launch at me daily. I’ve decided that they are going to have to write them down. My skin is too thin and my conscience too weak to stand up against the daily barrage of whining. It’s tiresome enough to teach and to think of creative ways of connecting the material with their life let alone to swallow the excuses that pile up at your feet. Every student must take chemistry to graduate. What percentage of students would you imagine are grateful to be struggling to learn chemistry? A new rule will be written on the board tomorrow, ‘All complaints and excuses will have to be written for them to be considered.’ Perhaps I will start a blog for that, for my students to post their complaints. I can respond to them at home, at a distance.”

So… how does this relate to a dating blog? I’ll tell you. I find that a lot of my peers and I complain. We complain about the clueless members of the opposite sex, married people, society that makes us feel second rate, pain of rejection, bad blind dates, petty and manipulative women, creepy old men, bitter old-maids, and judgmental twenty-somethings, whatever we can find we complain. Don’t get me wrong – the world is full of complainers – not just single people. I KNOW we’re not an exception in that regard. I just know what I hear and I hear complaining. One friend says she is concerned because she feels like a lot of people wind up cursing God in their frustration. Whatever it looks like or sounds like I think it’s easy to fall in the trap of self pity and negativity. When I read my brother’s woes it occurred to me that we’re all a bunch of “chemistry students” in the school of life. We’ve been required to take a class we really don’t enjoy. Instead of complaining about it and making our “teacher” miserable maybe we should all just suck it up and try to learn something.

Actually, that sounds a lot harsher than I intended. When I first decided to share my brother’s words I wanted to share the fact that I think God has probably bent over backwards trying to help us understand. He’s provided endless resources for us to find solutions to our problems. He is available at all times to answer our questions and He’s even paid the ultimate price to enable us to repent and progress despite our weaknesses and short comings. But like my brother’s students I think we are quicker to complain than we are to take advantage of God’s help. Maybe my brother needs to create a gratitude blog, instead of one for complaining, since after all, gratitude brings more happiness than complaining.

1 comment:

Anne Elliot said...

Thank you for your post! I really need to learn to enjoy the required classes! It is so easy to loose sight of the blessings we have and focus on the ones we don't have.