Monday, February 16, 2009

The Book of Good Cheer

I found this book.  It's called "The Book of Good Cheer." The subtitle is "A Little Bundle of Cheery Thoughts" and it's edited by some guy named Edwin Osgood Grover.  It's small and the paper is cheerfully yellowed, and there's a cheery little basket of orange flowers illustrated on the title page.  The thing is, it's a "wealth of wisdon and good cheer, gathered from all countries and all times" that was published by the Algonquin Publishing Company in 1913.  

And I've read through it several times, and I feel no cheerier, no better.  

One of the quips included says that what we see depends mainly on what we look for.  

Though I'm often tired of feeling like I see the worst in people, I find that when I try to see the good in them, I feel lousier about it still.  

For example, a woman in my Human Development class said of her students last week, that she always gets "a class of morons." I yelled at her.  I yelled at her in class, and I said that I found it horrifying that she was a teacher and had that shitty of an attitude toward the young people who depend on her to teach them.  She had an equally horrible opinion of me, but I found solace in that.  I felt good knowing that, in her ignorance, she didn't understand what I was talking about because it was that ignorance that separated us, that gave my anger validity.  She couldn't see how self-perpetuating it was for a stupid person to treat an entire group of children as if they were, in turn, stupid themselves.  That's what's wrong with public education.  It's why I know that I will never be a career teacher, why I know that I could never live with having people like her as colleagues.  I can't think of a worse place to be than a teacher's lounge, and yet I'm getting a teaching license so that I can pay some student loans and get my finances straight.  I know I'll be a good teacher, but I know that I won't last long at it.  A few years, maybe, at most, and then I'll be frustrated enough to direct my aspirations elsewhere, where they should be directed presently, except that this in-between time is necessary.  It's necessary so that I can get there.  The getting there is important.  

I often feel like a monster in a girl suit.  Embracing that inner-monster, I'll put the book of good cheer on the shelf, and I'll turn to something one of my best and favorite friends said earlier this evening.

"Sometimes, it's kind of fun to be a nasty grown-up." 

Yes.  It is.  

No comments: