Peter the Polychrone (sounds like a Russian czar…) once described me as being possessed of a “chaotic and well-meaning spirit,” which is one of the truest statements and best compliments I have ever heard. But the caveat is that the chaos that often swirls around me like snow blown from a drift can very easily trip me up in its tangles. The burden of being a dominant intuitive is that my freewheeling feelings often butt headfirst into my need (desire?) for order. (Meaning I have endless fun color-coding my divider tabs that I will completely ignore after about a week.)
The first two days of school have been, by any conventional definition, batshit bonkers. Yesterday I had anywhere from 25-30 kids tramping in and out of my room built to hold about 20 tiny humans and only a vague idea of what they were supposed to be doing the majority of the day. Today I took 28 of those students out and about the city for 5.5 hours, 3 destinations, and 1 bus breakdown, all in the name of experiential learning. (Check.)
Yesterday I was a mild basket case, and that was actually the only day this week for which we’d had any sort of concrete advance notice. This week I was supposed to share responsibility for an elective class that is taught by our technology guru, but since there are a panoply of technical glitches that need to be worked out in the first week of school, that responsibility has devolved almost entirely to me. But they are also supposed to be working on a project for his elective, and that’s what much of yesterday was spent doing. I had a hard time feeling invested in teaching the lesson without Guru there even though I did believe it was valuable. I think I was also running on a low emotional tank in general, which made me anxious about not being able to engage, which made me withdraw more, which made me feel guilty…aaaaand the sneaky hate spiral commences.
Today was better, though. One, I had gotten to know some of the students more, and vice versa. Two, I was able to engage the students in a some meaningful discussion about community needs, which contributed to number One. But most importantly, I made a conscious decision to go with the flow more, permitting myself to feel whatever level of emotional generosity that I was comfortable with, and lo and behold, it came that much more easily. As always, I am walking the tightrope between chaos and constraint.
Hope to post something more objective about the writing and thinking workshop, but it is getting close to bedtime. So for now, a preview in pictures…