Friday, May 22, 2009

Finals - Day One

Goal of the Week: In a word - survival.

Thought of the Day:

I'd really like to say that I'm making a difference by eliminating illiteracy and fostering critical thinking skills in the youth of today - but it's just not true. I'm so exhausted I hurt down to my teeth.

The worst part about this is that I feel more pathetic about my performance than I feel exhausted and sick. I want to do so many things in class but my brain's creativity and my body's abilities do not match. I just want to sleep the minute the kids leave until they come back in again. I don't even want to waste the time to drive home - just let me curl up on something flat and pass out cruel world!

This is not overly dramatic. I'm done. I've worked in FDA labs under deadlines and super-high pressure, researched an entire masters degree in a month, been through Grad school, read the entire literary works of 5 authors (published and unpublished) in 2 months, and have consistently bitten off more than I could chew and chewed it my enitre life.

I have met my match and more.

I give up. M'aidez. White flag. I'm out.

For all teachers, professors, TA's, and other educators out there: I salute you. You are the few, the proud, the chronically overworked and underpaid, the thankless, and the knights of educational virtue. We fight a constant battle against a tireless foe - ignorance.

True ignorance is " lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned or uninformed; unaware." It is not stupidity, as most people seem to assume. Rather, it is the state of never having been exposed to knowlege that would make you aware of your environment or navigate better in the world around you. It is the mortal enemy of those brave (or insane) knights of education and champions of thinking.

When I think I can't take another minute of excuses, tardy students, ill-prepared students, cheating, chronic failing, obvious disrespect for education, and general antipathy for discipline and achievement then I remember this: it's not about me. It's about the next generation and more to come. Humanity has made the gains that it has only through building upon the collective knowlegde of those who came before. To not be exposed to that collective knowlegde - regardless of whether it is absorbed or not - is a sin beyond measure.

Who knows which students may be listening and decide to make the next great addition to humanities' collective knowledge? Who knows which students in my class may walk away more aware of the beauty and mystery in this world? Who knows how many students might remember something important in a time of need?

Teachers make a difference only by striving constantly, through pain, sleelessness, exhaustion, and resistance to fight ignorance. What type of warrior would I be if I only fought when it was easy?

There are two paths in this world: one is easy and one is difficult. Only one is right. You guess which.

Over and out.
- S.

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