Those Amazing Breakthroughs

It’s been a while since I’ve written here, one reason being that all those jobs I was hoping would work out, worked out!  My schedule has been packed with every opportunity I have been offered recently to catch up financially.  Not only that, but these past few weeks have been filled with a larger amount of anxiety than usual.  I’m sure the NYC atmosphere of the holidays is not helpful.  I can’t help but tell that New Yorkers right now just look exhausted.  I was off to work the other morning, transferring at 34th street around 8:30, and I swear a yawn was passed around the platform while waiting for the F.

And yet, I’ve always found that it has almost only been in these exasperated, frustrated, worn-out moods, that you have terrific breakthroughs of clarity.  Tonight, after a glorious and much needed day off, I came back to my apartment and began to plan my lesson for my class tomorrow, one which I was feeling terribly uninspired about.  A few hours ago, tomorrow was just another day of crafts.  I was sick of construction paper, sick of hot glue, and reallllly sick of pipe cleaners.

Ugh.

So I grabbed a beer and looked for something to distract me on Netflix while packing up my supplies for tomorrow.  Lord knows if it was the abundance of beer, the documentary I chose, the weird week, or the combination of everything that caused this mood, but I am happy for it.  It was a documentary on the TED conference, which if you haven’t discovered yet, you can look into at ted.com.  This is an annual conference which brings together the visionaries of the world from a huge range of disciplines to talk about how we can change the world.   I cannot even begin to tell you the incredible things this conference has come up with; but a few are: the technology for the smart phones we have today, the start of the One.org campaign for AIDS, and the introduction of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.  Sir Ken Robinson has been my favorite speaker I have come across so far, he’s changed the way I look at teaching:

ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

So needless to say, I am slightly drunk.

Maybe not this drunk...

But definitely passionately tipsy.  And I have to say it’s not a bad place to be.  Recently, I have desperately been searching for a burst of inspiration or reason for all this running around and scrambling for rent.  But I haven’t felt alone in my frustration.  I keep ending up at parties, at events, at play readings with Phillip Seymour Hoffman (long story), and I have been surrounded by people who seem to be breaking through their frustrations of not being allowed to do what they are passionate about, or even harder, not knowing what they are passionate about.  I often find when you are looking for motivation, or a sign from who knows where, that you are suddenly surrounded by people who are looking for the same sign.  And often, these people are the sign you were looking for in the first place.  Simply sharing that feeling with other people: the need for something more, something well-spirited, is what wakes you up.  This is what the documentary and conversations recently has reminded me of.

So my goal is to go into my classes tomorrow, some of which are the last times I will see these particular students, and see my influence in a new light.  I may be teaching crafts, but it is also a chance to use my inspiration I found tonight to possibly spark a student who has also lost inspiration in their own lives.  I remember my first grade teacher, Mrs. Pyne, the most vividly, because she was inspiring.  I was 7, but I could tell you exactly how she taught and what she looked like.

If anyone is in a similar rut, especially due to the holidays, I send you my good thoughts.  Have a beer, watch some TED videos, and I hope you feel a bit better.

Happy Holidays, all:)

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