Sunday, September 02, 2007

Knowing The Self

As we enter college, we think... I know myself. There is nothing that I do not know....
As we leave college, we think... I know myself. There is nothing that I do not know....

Then we step into the real world.

Over the last weeks, you all know, I have been experiencing a paradigm shift. I have stepped away from all that I know, into a new world. A world that is so different... the people around me (being the only white girl on the subway), the idea that all kids can and will learn (much different than what I saw at most Oregon schools), and the lack of friends around to comfort me and spend time with.

Looking at these three shifts, each seems to warrant some writing time.

On the New York City subway you can tell where you are by the people on the train. In the Bronx, the black and Hispanic people that surround you, mostly speak Spanish and always look tired from a long days work. Whether they are coming or going, it is hard to tell but they mostly friendly to the out of place white girl. As you ride south from the Bronx, into the city, the crowd seems to look more cheerful, whiter and seem to all wear suits. After hitting about 72nd street you know (after a while) who is and is not a tourist. After all, the two train goes straight into Times Square.

The message that I keep getting around here, from my principal, the training specialists, and the chancellor is: all children can learn. In Oregon it was all about testing, making sure the teacher does their job and then making sure that the kids are passing their tests. Maybe i was not privy to the opening staff meeting where teachers were given the 'here we go speech' but it seems that , although we need to get our test scores up, it is more about the child learning and making sure the child has learned rather than just passing some tests. The vibe I get over here just seems so different... it happens because everything here is so different.

The lack of friends around here is so different for me. I have known since high school that I am not good at making friends, my freshman year in college I seemed to come out of it realizing that I had no real friends, ones that I would hang onto. This is why I became an RA. Resident Assistant meant live in friends, people who were paid to hang out with me basically. This worked... I have Eric, I have Meghan and Colleen. Good friends that came from a forced situation. Living with Jess made it a good, but I knew that I was not going to hang out with her friends because I was socially awkward. I knew it.. it happens. But here. Here there are no social networks, such as RA live in friends, that I have.

I guess my point through all of this is that: I have no idea who I am. I look at the people on the subway and wish I was them. Better looking legs, better hair, reading a more intellectual book, having friends to hang out with. I wish I was all of them. At 23 I have realized I have no idea who I am. No I am not talking about professionally, as some do, I have no idea who I am personally. I have no idea what I like to do... at least stuff that I can do alone or in groups. One other person I am ok.. but more than that I have so many issues, and alone I am just not sure what to do with myself.

I am trying to make a change. This is my resolution. I want to take art classes... pottery or painting. I want to develop something besides my insecurities. Hey, maybe I will actually make some friends. Also I want to take some Spanish classes, so that I can actually speak to my students and give me a leg up in the teaching game.

Am I the person I want to be? No. Can I work towards being that person? Hopefully. Life is going to change. Starting now. I want to live for today and tomorrow. We shall see. Keep checking back for updates.

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