Something Serious At Last

By , June 26, 2020 8:25 pm

Sadly, it just occurred to me how lacking in seriousness my blog posts have been during the pandemic. All photos of flowers and cats.

As I get older I don’t find it easier to share my thoughts about the state of the world; I find it incredibly difficult to process my thoughts. The pandemic has only made it harder. At times my mind feels cluttered and confused. The emotions have outplayed the analysis. The sometimes mind-numbing routine of working from home has overridden the opportunities for creativity and depth.

I have known for most of my life what a privileged person I am. There is absolutely no doubt of that. Though I often say I am lucky to have the life I have, I know it’s not luck. Luck and fortune are not the same thing. Luck appears out of nowhere. Fortune is a pathway that is created for you, carving out an existence that you glide upon with little friction.

I’ve had everything to the nth degree: material possessions, housing, travel opportunities, hobbies, education, career. Even love. The list really could go on.

I’ve always worked hard, but that doesn’t excuse me from privilege. I think the skill I’m still developing is being able to help my students see different perspectives from their own. Not dismissing other positions and “truths” so quickly.

In the past few days I’ve been involved in two conversations where people said things that were discriminatory – definitely bubble-based thinking, as Val calls it. They don’t even know they are being so insular.

I did not effectively challenge the first person; my response was too meek. Mostly in my own head I started analyzing why this person might think his way of thinking was acceptable. I directly challenged the second person, but I don’t think I made a difference in her position. People are very dug in to their views, based on their experiences, often closed off from those they don’t see or hear.

As a teacher, it is more important to me than ever to play a role in shaping my students’ perspectives. They don’t have to think like me, but I would like them to learn to think more broadly. Did I do this successfully during online learning? Probably not but I’d like to think I tried.

No matter who took away the initiative to learn and work hard during online learning, I cannot stop thinking that it was a wasted opportunity for all those grade 12 students who just couldn’t be bothered anymore. If you are privileged enough to be able to sit at home and do school online (minus serious mental or physical health impediments), you should at least make something of it. I am not going to toe the party line on that one.

Ultimately, I’m privileged to have the best job in the world, teacher! I hope and will work for education to be valuable in carving a pathway for everyone to have better and fairer opportunities.

To be continued…






A Study of Hostas

By , June 7, 2020 7:21 pm

For some reason I have never appreciated my hostas as much as since I started learning to paint. The colours look painted on in the cream-centered ones, and there are endless possibilities for composition.


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