Monday, January 16, 2006

Selves

While I'm waiting for the second night of 24 to begin and my pizza to get here, I think I'll blog.

I was recently surfing the blogosphere, going through my daily rounds, when I came to Wordaholism. Now, I generally enjoy this blog very much; it's run by a number of other bloggers, a few of whom have individual blogs that I also follow, and the focus is on relating little snippets of life to words and their definitions. Perfect for an English teacher, right? Right. But tonight, after I had posted a small comment on the latest post, I had a very surreal moment. As I'm reflecting on it now, it's like my favorite quote from The Royal Tenenbaums when the narrator says, "Immediately after making this statement, Royal realized that it was true."

Here's what it was. Esbee wrote the post, and part of it was the fact that when she was growing up she was always surprised when her mom (who was a teacher) would bump into kids outside of school, and the kids would be shocked to see that she existed outside of the school building. This in and of itself is rather common; my mom is a teacher, and I remember this happening to her a could of times. Now that I'm a teacher, it's even happened several times to me in the two years I've been teaching. But here's what I wrote in the comment:
"My students are constantly shocked that I exist outside of school. Sometimes I think I don't."
A short, trite, almost mocking comment. But this gets at something that is much deeper than just having students expect you to only be in one particular setting; when we ourselves define our identity with not just our surroundings, but who we are in those surroundings, we become much more tied to them. This all goes back to my idea of trying to maintain balance in a life that is so top heavy it's not even funny. We need to define ourselves by who we are holistically--and to recognize that there are many of our "selves" out there, as we exist in different settings, and that each one is as valid and important and essential as the next. I am not just a teacher. I am a shopper. And a car driver. And a movie-watcher. A reader. A writer. A sleeper. A dreamer. A person with so many spheres that the Venn diagram that would encompass me would have to be in four dimensions to do an adequate job.

Who are you?

5 comments:

MappyB said...

I am someone that is going to be watching 24 in 22 minutes. That's right. 22 minutes.

Other than that, I am a GIS Analyst. I don't really know how to define myself other than my job. I am a woman, a granddaughter, a daughter, a sister, a neice, a girlfriend, a friend. What else? I used to be many things. I am in the process of re-defining myself. Good question. Now, 24 is on in 20 minutes.

Lizzie said...

Among many other things, I'm a fan of people-watching (not in a creepy way though!). When I see other people going about their daily lives - people just walking down the sidewalk or sitting in starbucks or on the metro or the bus or people in Haiti, I wonder the very same thing you talk about in this post - who are they? what are their lives like? What do they think about? what do they want out of life? are they happy? I like to wonder what their lives are like out of that one specific context in which I see them.

Sue Ellen Mischke said...

I'm a jackass.

Java Boo Boo said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by. I see you're also a regular reader of my good friend Bone's blog.

What is the deal with this "24" show? Everyone is talking about it. I guess I'll have to try and catch it next time it's on.

Have a good one.

The Complimenting Commenter said...

That is so poignant. I will try to focus on the many aspects and not just work. Thanks for the great reminder.