Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mama Said, Think Before You Speak

I have a weakness. I say what I think without a filter. It is not that I say everything in my head, but when I am asked a direct question I usually give an immediate direct answer. You might think that this doesn't sound too serious, but in reality this is sometimes a very bad thing. See my examples below.

"Ms. Understood, I love you."
"I know."

"Why didn't you turn in that paper?"
"I thought I could still get an "A" anyway."

"Do you want to go to my five year old's birthday?"
"I don't really like bowling or little kids, but I'll go if you want me to."

Usually after I say something awkward like the above it just sort of hangs in the air as I realize that I shouldn't have said it and the other person tries to respond. Sometimes people laugh--I laugh too because it is funny to say something that is really true, but the consequences are not always so funny.

Recently, my rush to respond seems to be getting so much worse. I think it is partially because Principal Sadie helped me dial it down for a while. She definitely understood my weakness and was always firing questions at me in rapid succession. I answered them all--way too honestly--because I can't help myself. It always got me in trouble and I think I was starting to be more cognizant of the effect of blurting out the truest answer I could think of, but I kind of lost ground lately. I think the other thing that is making me worse is actually this blog. On the one hand it is a great outlet for me to hash out my thoughts, but on the other hand it builds many articulate scripts in my head about exactly what I think on a wide variety of subjects.

Last night in Graduate class we were discussing the newest laws in education. "Why would a young person ever have the notion to go into education now?" Someone asked generally to the class.

"Well, you know, I am twenty-five. Lately, I find myself thinking about that all of the time. It's like no matter what I do the rug is continually being pulled out from under me. Every year it's a new curriculum or a new idea. You know, now we're RTI and we're going to be inclusive classrooms. It makes me feel like there is no amount of experience that will make this job less draining, and I hate it. I heard a statistic that my generation can expect to retire above 60. So, 35 more years would be a conservative estimate of my time left in this field. I can't imagine it--I just can't. I keep thinking to myself that if I was going to jump ship, then I should do it now while it's easier."

During my little speech, the room went from buzzing with side conversations to a concentrated silence as all attention zeroed in on my monologue. My delivery was flawless because even I was surprised at all the passion in my own voice as I spoke. That was the first time that I spoke those words out loud.

Maybe I shouldn't be so direct in a public context, but it felt a little better just to say it.

1 comment:

Mrs. Reality said...

Oh boy do I feel your comment to the grad class! You're dead on- every year something changes, not always for the better, and we have to adapt. It's really frustrating... Even my family thinks that since this is my 4th year, I should have everything already done, but it just doesn't work that way! I came home today and had my own 30 minute melt down in front of my husband because I'm so overwhelmed. I could not have expressed myself better than you did today! Good luck, and just think about the break coming up! A few days to rejuvenate and refresh!