NaBloPoMo. Here it starts. Some of my students committed to NaNoWriMo… National Novel Writing Month, where they write 175 pages in 30 days, and I think it’s awesome. The idea is that they write for the sake of writing – it’s also a social activity at our school – without worrying so much about how it turns out or how “good” or complete it is. The idea is that it’s a commitment to something, a commitment to something meant to be purely enjoyable. I am in terrible need of such a thing (not commitments, cause I have those for days, but the enjoyable part? dying for it).
So my posts might not be “good” but they’re not for you. They’re really for me. If you happen to read and like, then that’s a bonus.
Today at school one of my students asked me, “What will you do when you’re old and you’re not relatable to your students anymore?” Really, it was a bit of a complement, as if I somehow have something in common with a 17 year old, but it highlighted a point of some anxiety for me lately – my age. Last year I turned 30 and in a lot of ways, it was a difficult year. But wow the clarity that came at 31? I’ve made some major discoveries about myself that after today’s class with the “you’re going to be old soon” student, I had to smile and feel proud of a few of these realizations.
My AP classes unveiled their video projects today and they turned out so well! But something weird is happening with some of these kids. They are literally making themselves crazy with their unrealistic ambitions… some take 78 AP classes, have jobs, play 53 sports and expect themselves to be good at everything. I had an interesting conversation after school today with a friend who is also an English teacher about this – between the two of us, we know several students who were literally hospitalized for mental and emotional problems due to academic stress. I also have a FEEP student who went to Clear Fork (the coincidence is amazing!) and we have had multiple conversations about the difference between a rural school and one like Hilliard. I’m pretty lucky that not only did I “turn out OK” for not having been the best high school student but also that I didn’t feel the need to torture myself just to feel like I could compete with my peers. Cause what I see happening isn’t healthy or even commendable.