A lot of people have accused me of never being able to shut off the inner teacher I have in my head, and I hate to admit it, but they were right every time they said it to me. I think most teachers are wired this way: always listening and always ready with some cookie-cutter and overly-positive response to an adverse situation. You know the type:
Just do your best and eventually you’ll find your way.
Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you will land among the stars.
I hadn’t ever really realized how cheerfully idealistic I was until it started to wear off.
Being back in a retail setting has reset my cheerfulness gauge to one of increasing cynicism. I don’t spout the same pedantic nonsense anymore unless it’s an extreme case, and rarely do I carpe the diem these days. Today, my version of seizing the day involved waking up early, cursing loudly, then rolling over and sleeping an extra hour before I decided to drag my ass out of bed and get ready for work. Essentially…I am in fuck-all mode save for one aspect of my personality waking up that I did not expect.
As I got ready for work this morning, I was thinking about Star Trek: The Next Generation. Mainly episode 101 entitled “Darmok.” In it, the Enterprise crew encounters an alien race that communicates primarily by speaking in folktale and metaphor. Think expressing the concept of generosity through telling the tale of the good Samaritan. The whole episode plays out like a sort of grammar charades with Picard learning how to more effectively communicate to the point where relations with this alien race can begin in friendship.
I thought about that episode, repeating the phrase “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra,” to myself in the mirror until inspiration slapped me in the face and I had to run into my living room and write a one week unit on folktale, metaphor, and spoken language as an important communication tool.
I hadn’t had an original idea for a lesson plan come to me like that ever. Ever. EVER.
I guess maybe shutting off the teacher awakened the creative part of me that the teacher silenced. We shall see how this develops.
On the ocean. The beast at Tanagra.