doctor_ray (doctorray) wrote,

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In Which I Undertake a Project

I have a new resolution to put out there, dear reader.  After making the decision to step away temporarily from coaching football, and hoping that some time might be freed up by that decision to do some "creative stuff", the last part of the summer and the first few days of school have provided some revelations.

Revelation the first:  I'm not blessed with a terribly active or vigorous muse.  I enjoy reading more than writng, I enjoy the company of friends more than the company of fictional characters, and despite having dug my penny whistle out of a drawer in the hopes that I might be inspired to give learning to play it a second try, I prefer listening to music and singing along to actually playing it.

Revelation the second : I'm okay with that first revelation.  I do many things well (he says self-effacingly).  I'm a pretty good teachers - or so my evaluations say.  I enjoy that.   I'm a reasonably engaging party guest.  I'm rather athletic for a fellow in his early 40s.  I can put together an amusing RPG scenario.  When inspired, I can indeed put together an amusing little vignette or even a scrap of doggrel verse.  But I"m not inspired very frequently.  So rather than chase something that isn't really me, I think I might be better served by taking the inspiration when it comes, and not worrying about it when it doesn't . 

Revelation the third: Teaching AP European History may not leave me with quite as much free time as I'd hoped.  Getting this course off the ground the way I want it could consume a good deal of time.  And it's not like there aren't other projects at school that will also need my attention...

So, having mulled over these revelations over the past few days, I've come to a a few conclusions. 

Conclusing the first: You can't force "creative things".  Oh don't get me wrong, I don't imagine that there are Gifted Artists out there who effortlessly put forth Great Creations - I know even great art takes hard work.  I also know that the application of sufficient effort can produce excellent results blah-blah-Carol Dweck-blah-blah-growth mindset-blah-blah.  But a fellow can't do everything and if he wants to churn out well-crafted 'creative stuff' while also keeping his bench press max up there against advancing age while also doing a good job at work while also maintaining an active social life while also being a good husband well, something's going to give.  So you may see the odd fictional effort here from time to time.  But not on a monthly basis.

Conclusion the second: Write what you know, if you want ot write. Or maybe know what you write is better.   How many times have I heard that?  Probably too many to count, really.  More experienced writers, feel free to correct me, but it seems a fair cop.

So, conclusion the third: If I want to do something with this LJ other than feel guilty as the little highlighted 'last entry' number climbs further and further away from the current date on that little calendar, I need to change my perspetive.  So that's what I've done.

So, to make a long story short (I know, too late!) here's my resolution, dear reader.  I'm going to treat this journal like an actual journal.  About an actual topic, about which I actually know.  Oh, I may intersperse it with entries about other stuff I find engaging or amusing, but for the next academic year, this journal will have a purpose.  Which is, for me to chronicle my experiences in my first year teaching AP European History.

This is the place where you can politely slip out of the room.  Still here?  Okay, good.

The entries may sometimes be long, they may sometimes be short.  They may sometimes be polished, they may sometimes be mere jottings, bullet points for (perhaps) later expansion.  I intend to think out loud here quite a bit, and I will be friend-locking this journal to afford myself the freedom to rant a bit.

It is my hope that at the end of the year I'll have a tool that I can use to reflect upon and improve upon my teaching, and also might get some useful feedback, while also producing something worthwhile in the process.

First entry on Thursday - stay tuned!
Tags: ap euro journal

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