Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Classroom

I hated school. I wasn't an academic. There wasn't a lack of ability, I just think I was the kind of kid who learned things differently. I seemed to always run into those teachers who thought the way I learned was wrong. Why didn't I understand long division in my primary school days? Why couldn't I grasp physics in my highschool career? Let me be honest with you...it's because I didn't care. I still don't care. The math that makes sense to me today, as an adult, is the math that's applicable to my life...to my job, the rest is swirling down the drain of my frustrated schoolgirl days.

But if I was to think about the things I did learn in school...I would tell you that Life has been my most valuable teacher. When Life stands at the front of the class, and requires an assignment from me, I know it is often just as frustrating and lengthy as trying to learn the periodic table in grade 11.

I know Life requires things of me that I don't want to do. I know Life holds me accountable, and grades my contribution. I know Life doesn't allow me to skip anything...it all must be learned. And when I am being that smart ass at the back of the class, acting like I know it all, and not paying attention...that is when Life detains me. That is when Life pushes back, and makes me aware of the consequences of my actions. And in a twisted way...Life can hold a grudge...it can be that teacher who will find you down the road, and remind you that you are where you are, because you made costly decisions way back when.

I had some great teachers, who reflect back how I hope Life to be taught. They gave when they didn't have to...they explained what they understood on the repeat button..knowing that the answer evaded me. They were patient, and considerate...firm, but clear on what their expectations were. They knew I could do better...and they told me so.

I hope I can look at my Life teacher, and be acutely aware of the person she hopes to shape me into being. I know that help will always be available, if I am humble enough to ask for it. I know I will never be without that which I need...because even Life has a boss...and that boss controls my income, my health and my destiny...right down to my final breath...at which point, I will graduate into a place where the value of my lessons learned, and my contribution will be weighed.

So maybe I did learn things in school. I don't remember much about the academics..but I do remember the hopes I had for Life...many of which, Life has brought to fruition. I know I learned how to stand up for what I believe...and for those who can't do it for themselves. I did that for 2 reasons...partially because I knew it was right in my heart...and maybe moreso because I detest the illusion of popularity.

So Life..I am glad I don't have to learn about you in a classroom. I am glad you teach me how I learn. I am glad you are patient with me...because you know sometimes I think I know better. I am glad you have taught me lessons with humour and have allowed people to walk alongside me, and show me how to do it right.

Life..I am glad you're in front of me...I'm up for the challenge. But please....if you want to teach me another math lesson, could it come by way of winning the lottery?


  1. And our best lessons are learned backwards.

    I'm not an academic Jenn. Like you.
    However, creative I am, and I had this convo tonight with my man about how some of us create and some of us consume.

    We fall into either category. Academics consume.

    Nuff said.

    Keep creating please. I love your work and I don't care if you know the calculus or trigonometry of whatever. Seriously.