I figured it wouldn't be nice to replace ignorance for stupidity. It might offend.
Today was Professional Development Day in the school and they got a Life Coach (I totally thought of How To Be and how insane that old man was) to motivate us I guess. I have nothing against life coaches or even this one, honest. I just read a lot, and some of the stuff I read is inspirational, so nothing I heard from him was anything I didn't already know. And I mean that in the least arrogant way possible.
Make quiet time for yourself, try to describe who you are outside of what you do, try to make the best decisions for the goal you want to achieve, think about what you will leave behind, yadda yadda yadda.
Now, just because I've heard that speech before, it does not mean that I have the answers to anything. I make time for myself. Regularly. I barely know who I am inside of what I do, but I tried my best, hence the statement above. I try I make the best decisions but I'm quite impulsive with the big things (like taking this job) and I actually like the thrill of an unpredictable circumstance in my otherwise mundane life. Sometimes. I have no idea if I am good enough at what I do to leave an indelible mark on these children. I try. But I don't know.
We talked about teachers who changed our lives. I mentioned Mrs. Dhanoolal, my old Primary School teacher. She was such a hard working and patient lady who knew how to handle difficult children and encourage them to work hard. When I think back to how I used to do quizzes back then, I wonder how many brain cells I lost over the years because omg I was quick and informed.
She taught me in the early years in that school, but she always made sure her children were coping well with our exams. A lot of the teachers in that school thought they shat ice cream, but Miss didn't act like them. She was genuinely nice.
The other part was about individuality in spite of peer pressure and the need to fit in with society. We had to write about it:
"People like to feel like they are part of a community. The key is to find a community of misfits who enhance and support individuality."
I was fortunate in my short life to be a part of 2 such groups. The first was in my teens, called the A.D.I.D.A.H. LIST, which we later referred to as The List after A.D.I.D.A.H. closed down. There were more than 20 girls (and at one point, a guy) in that group, all within a 5 year age range, who joined a website's mailing list because at the time, we all liked the same band. As the years passed, it became a close knit group of less than 20 girls who exchanged secret santa presents, sent birthday cards and in some cases, drove miles to meet each other. We were from different countries and backgrounds, we listened to different kinds of music (not everyone liked that band after a time), and had different definitions of fun. We helped each other out through heartache and stress with school and our family the way only teenage girls can. As time went on, real-life kicked in and we all went our separate ways as friends, with no bad blood between us. I don't think any of us are who we were back then, but I will always appreciate the group who made being a teenager memorably entertaining.
The next group is ADF, and while I am not one of the most active or outspoken members of that group, the sense of community is strong. It is now a group of ladies from 18 - 40+ who are entertaining and supportive. Hilarity and picture spams are encouraged; we are allowed entire threads to rant about our lives, or to post something happy and appreciative to other members.
The thing is, I like people who are unique. I was once told by my then-best friend, that I was very ordinary. I guess she meant boring, because I was very conservative and paranoid about everything, where she was shameless and fearless, because I didn't actually know anyone like me. I still don't. Maybe that thinking is so popular, it makes me ordinary after all.
I am drawn to the students who seem reserved among hooligans, enthusiastic among indifference, workers among sloths, to the students who get teased, taunted or bullied. I don't want anyone committing suicide on my watch, and I want success and happy memories when they leave the school.
Was I becoming professionally developed? Maybe. I don't know. But it certainly got me thinking...