Posts Tagged ‘change’
Old and young aren’t as different as I had thought, as recent personal observation attests.
Some members of a local veteran band cool down with some late-night eating after each weekly practice. Because I just joined the band this week, they didn’t know me well enough to not invite me — ha, ha — but invited me they did.
At least a full quarter of this band voted against Wendell Wilkie in 1944, another third has seen more than three times my 21 years and most of the rest hit puberty before my parents met. In other words, the band skews between relatively old and hellaold. Yet had their conversations been transcribed and rearranged, tonight’s dinner could have been credibly performed by a representative mix of teenagers.
The subject of the evening: We were kicked out of our rehearsal hall when the President of some association with control over it walked calmly in during practice and told our director that we had been reminded several times that we were not allowed to park in the alley because of the potential fire hazard.
As with teenagers, there was unrealistic whining bolstered by insight into the band that only a band member would have.
Why did Mr. President approach our director? He isn’t the head of our organization.
As with teenagers, there was fallacy.
This doesn’t make any sense. We aren’t the only ones who park in that alley.
As with teenagers, there was cattiness.
Well, actually, he didn’t yell at us. He kept his voice down, and I could tell by the way he announced that he was in AUSA, also, that it was all he could do not to cry.
As with teenagers, there was gossip.
I heard that in the letter they gave us, it says that someone asked one of our members had been asked to move his car, and that person said back, “Tow me.”
As with teenagers, there was implausible denial.
“Tow me?” That doesn’t sound like any of our people.
By my count, and from one practice, I could tell that “Tow me,” is the exactly the statement that at least four band members — one first trumpet, two clarinet, one tenor sax — in that band room would have said.
More over, getting kicked out of the veteran’s hall was a convoluted situation, and nobody really understood it, but they would only admit to it in their dramatic and accusatory tones of voice. Just like teenagers.
However much perspective changes over time, and whatever it is that experience adds to the human equation, just about everyone past adolescence has a teenage personality.
As a student teacher, I’ve heard a lot about ambition, and changing the world. I’ve heard a lot of my fellow student teachers talk about wanting to make a difference. I’ve heard a lot of full-time teachers relate glowingly their stories of having made a difference, and being engaged.
As I finished up my grading after school, my master teacher and another teacher talked shop talk. I paid attention only intermittently, more intent on the 10s, the 7s and the many, many 0s throughout the PowerSchool grading program.
The other teacher is just as committed as my master teacher, and she would do anything for her students within reason — any action or strategy that teaches them to fish rather than just giving them a fish right off the bat, that is. Upbeat, positive, model teacher.
Eventually, she said something about wanting to shut down and just give up, in a moment of end-of-the-year exasperation.
I joked: Whatever happened to changing the world? Giving up already?
I gave up changing the world a long time ago. That’s the first thing I learned as a teacher, that changing the world can’t be my goal.
Laughing, my master teacher asked:
Why do we think that? Why do you think we try to change the world? What’s up with that?
In mock frustration, she offered her hypothesis.
It’s those movies, those stupid movies, where the teacher changes the world and is awesome.
But if you actually watch the movies, the Jamie Escalantes don’t change the world. They don’t even change the school. They just change their class of 20 students.
Twenty students per class? Now that’s something out of Hollywood.