Friday, March 29, 2013

And the abyss stares back...

It was me.

My co-teacher never met with a student, never answered an email.  I helped every step of the way.

But I was the one considered rude.

A colleague of mine said that he thinks that a big part of it is "too much contact."  "I am rude - everyone says it - and I ignore them.  But I get great reviews.  They saw too much of you, I think."

That was from someone who, well, gave me a job when no one else would.

I was thinking about this post here:

Almost no one has ever complained about my intelligence or niceness.

It's always things like "You over-react..." "You work yourself up..." "You work too hard and then you blow up (or by the time anyone sees it it's incomprehensible.)" "You worry too much about what people think."  "You're organized, but then you lose it."  "Sometimes you seem unpredictable."

These aren't the types of things a career councilor can help with.  Or a pastor, really (although I'm going to make an appointment with mine.)

These are the kinds of things that a psychiatrist helps with.

I've been in-and-out of "the chair" for most of my life.  I eventually leave because they tell me something I don't want to hear.  Not "You're not nice."  Not "You're not smart."  Not "You don't think about others."

Eventually they say that I have something that says "I'm broken."  Or that's how I read it: "I'm broken and I'll be broken forever."

I try to combat it by doing the things I'm "supposed" to do: go out, be social, talk to others... I do all the things that are the opposite of what a "sick" person would do.

But acting a part and actually being well are two different things (contrary to what Skinner might say.)  There are still things that are "wrong."

I don't know what they are but maybe having more than 2 visits to the couch in a row is part of the recipe for change.


  1. I'm so very sorry how it all panned out.

    For the record, I don't think you are "broken". You have a great intellectual curiosity, and sometimes it comes off differently than you intend.

    Prime example, actually, is the recent conversation on my Times Union blog. I think most of us speak in shorthand. I think you had misconstrued Jeffrey's comment. "Jeffrey just said that." And I didn't see that at all; I wrote as much, and he (who I do not know, BTW) said as much. It's the kind of interaction where Jeffrey probably feels a bit defensive, and, in that written communication form, a bit unsafe.

    I've gotten to "know" you a bit, through that NYADP piece, and subsequently, and I understand your heart; it seems to be in the right place. Not sure it always comes off that way. I understand your quirkiness (mostly) and others may not.

    Obviously, I can't speak to your in-person persona, so cannot offer a quick fix, but you do have a lot to offer. Hoping you find a helpful counselor, because it appears you've gotten lousy advice in the past.

  2. On a totally different matter: most of the URLs one gets from some sort of feed can be shortened when there is a ? in it. In your example above: - all the rest of it is RSS feed noise

  3. Thanks for the technical hint.

    I don't know if I even NEED a psychologist. Or if one will help.

    What I need to "get" is if I can teach or if I need to seriously consider something different.

    I think it was the "unpredictable" aspect of it that really freaked me out. I need to calm down and really, really read the comments.

    I have colleagues who have called students names and get better reviews! I'd never do that.

    But the art of "softening" language to convey meaning without being offensive is something I'm bad at.

    My co-teacher often reached out to me: "I don't feel like I'm reaching the students. You're so engaged!"

    Maybe he was just being nice, but I'm not sure.

    Alternatively it could be because I had to do ALL the disciplinary actions in the class. That might have had something to do with it, too.