Brilliant: Professors who deliberately lie. (In a good way! In a hilariously clever way! For education!)
Today seems to be the day for extended streams of writing. Sometimes there are days for that.
While looking up some material for a current Olin first-year who was interested in MetaOlin, I found our old Diversity module papers. Zhenya had asked us to write short autobiographies, then told us to take one aspect of our life, flip it around, and write an autobiography of that. Andy and Marco wrote theirs as if they'd grown up female; Chandra wrote hers as if she'd been raised by a single mom. I forgot what Boris and Dellin wrote. I wrote as if I'd never had pneumonia and could therefore hear perfectly. Here's how it ended.
A couple of times I was asked to be a TA; a couple of times I did it, and I liked it, and I think teaching would be fun to do in the future, maybe when I retire. It doesn’t make me burn with as much passion as other things, though. I have a hard time understanding why people sometimes have difficulty “getting” things. From our MetaOlin readings, I think it might be related to epistemic privilege – I’ve never had a tough time with stuff, so I can’t sympathize with folks who do quite so well, and I have a hard time connecting with them and having the patience to work with them.
Alt.Mel also played the violin, was an excellent orator, and didn't go to IMSA because she had a social life at home. It was a fun exercise, and it also made me think. What has this given me? Awareness and appreciation. Empathy. A different way of looking at and listening to the world. It is the life I have, and it's a good one. The blessings I have are blessings I'll use for Great Awesome. The blessings I don't have are blessings in a weird way because they teach me things. When it's good, it's a gift. When it's bad, it's a lesson - which is also a gift. I don't always remember this, but I try.
And if I could see into the past and wave a magic wand, and knew for sure that removing any of the things that have caused me pain in the past would take away my love for teaching... then I would not wave that wand. And I must remind myself of that. I might complain a lot. It might be hard, and it might hurt. But I would not wave that wand. This is the life I have been given, the world I've been given it in, and the power I've been given to change it; how I steward that investment is my call to make.
My call right now is that I'm going to stop typing, rub out my hands, go downstairs, get a drink, write out my schedule for tomorrow, then read a little philosophy and call it a night. I got through a ridiculous amount of inbox backlog today, and am slowly removing my excuses for procrastinating on POSSE documentation; sometime in the next 24 hours, I'll eat the spinach, but I don't know when that switch will flip, or how, just that it'll happen.
Things work out.