As a new teacher, I see the administration and fellow teachers argue, fight and bicker over a myriad of issues. Almost every time I see these arguments, I am befuddled. I don’t understand the fuss.
I took this picture on December 27, 2004. It is just south of Baghdad. This girl was begging for food. As you can see in the pictures, she has no shoes and begging for food. There was nothing around for miles. It was barren desert. Someone probably dropped her off. This was a very dangerous section of MSR Tampa. This is an image I will never forget.
When I see people arguing and fighting over issues or whatever, this little girl comes into my mind’s eye. Sometimes, it may seem that I don’t take certain things serious or that I ignore the gravity of a situation. What most people don’t seem to understand is that next to life and death, most situations don’t hold as much gravity as we would like to put on them. I’m not being disrespectful; I just have a differing point of view.
James Blunt is a good singer. Like him or not he has led a very interesting life. Before becoming a big time singing sensation, he was in the British Army. I heard him on an interview recently with Adam Carolla and he made some comments that really struck home with me. Paraphrasing his interview, he mentioned that the fuss around stardom seems silly compared to the seriousness of war. Having served in Kosovo, he has perspective.
Not only is my point of view different, but my sense of humor seems to be not welcome in the world of education. I’ve always had an overdeveloped sense of humor. Humor seemed to bond us in the military. I know not everyone appreciates humor in uniform, but the military is such a serious business that humor is a good tension relief. It seems that beyond my personal friends and the kids, my brand of humor is unwelcome at school. I never see the administration or my peers smile in good humor. Dourness is the flavor of the day.
I know I am enjoying teaching. I know that because despite all the negative energy that flows in here, I continue to try and reach the kids. I understand how to sift through detritus of day to day living to get to the important stuff. Laughing and learning all the way. Smiling is international, it's contagious and it is free!
Sometimes, you have to ask yourself, Does this matter?
Does what I am doing matter?
Does it matter to that little girl?