Braden's Dad, Kevin, is a chatterbox. Bold accusation coming from me, the queen of the 3:00 minute voice mail, I know. But if the two of us were to go word-for-word, Kevin's loquaciousness would win by a Dickensian sentence. Thus, I have mechanisms in place for surviving chats with Kevin. If my brain is fried from a long day at work, and Kevin calls, I silence the call because I prefer to go in warm after listening to a voice mail instead of entering cold into his circuitous dialogue.
Notwithstanding the occasional avoidance, I value Kevin's gift of gab. His amiable, social personality have warmed him to Braden's swim coach, opening an avenue of communication, something I have failed at accomplishing for over six months. His even-keeled, zen philosophies, though typically ignored by himself, have oftentimes kept me from spewing words in anger toward him, the swim coach, Braden's teachers, and over-zealous grandparents alike.
While holding vigil over swim practice recently, Kevin and I were espousing recent life-changes we had experienced which, for me, includes yet another new job in yet another new town. At a loss for the precision necessary for explaining why my job at Wright City High School, despite six preps--two of which are publications, with two more being freshmen-level courses I have had no experience teaching since I, myself, was a freshman educator--feels less overwhelming than my previous new job in the previous new town, Kevin simply clarified, "it's because you are creating something here instead of merely adhering to it."
That is it. That's what I've been missing since moving to Missouri nearly three years ago. The power to create.
In my first teaching assignment upon my return to the state of my youth, I continually found myself thwarted by rules and archaic principles enforced by closed-minded Mid-Westerners. Play-it-safe and by-the-book were mantras in the place that stood--as I was reminded frequently--in the shadow of the Capitol. Knowing that Braden had no educational or athletic future in the heart of Missouri, I set my sights on how to move us forward and adhered to the established norm of this place instead of creating positive friction through loyalty to my educational philosophies.
In adhering, I lost my power.
I found my power again in a tiny little blip on the map, approximately thirty miles west of St. Louis. Here, I set my sights on how to create positive friction through loyalty to my educational philosophies instead of adhering to the established norm and hiding in the shadows. I owe much of my rediscovery to my administration; they trust my instincts and challenge me to push my students and myself. Play-it-safe and by-the-book are scoffed and replaced by leave-it-all-on-the-court.
In this place, the World is mine to create.
After all, isn't living about creating? Creating life. Creating memories. Creating a name. Creating a legacy.