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Monday, April 8, 2013

Idiot Jed, Glutton for Punishment

Spiders don’t scare me. Snakes can slither around my arm and I wouldn’t flinch, Home alone in the dark… no problem. But there are a few things that terrify me. Clowns, for instance.  

I watched Poltergeist as a kid, and sure, the stuffed clown grinning madly, rocking away in his rocking chair as “his kid” was tormented by an unseen force gave me the wiggins… Tim curry dressed in clown makeup telling cute little Georgie “we all float down here” from a storm drain still makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck, but it wasn’t until middle school when I started researching serial killers that I was absolutely done with clowns. John Wayne Gacy was real, people… Not just the figment of someone’s delightfully disturbed mind. Now every time I see a clown, I turn into a 5 year old: cringing, whimpering, and sometimes crying. I hide behind a blanket, cover my eyes, sink down in my seat, as if is any of these are valid survival tactics. 

Last year at the haunted house, full of clowns, it took me longer than it should have to get through because I was either cowering in the corner, or shoving my brother in law (who was deliberately going slower just to torment me ) out of the way so I could run.  

This was still less terrifying than public speaking. Just the thought of standing in front of a room full of people where I have to be the center of attention makes me nauseas. And a little sweaty.  

But speaking??? I’d rather be forced to go back through that haunted house every day for a year than stand up and talk for an hour. And hour, hell, I’d rather go back through that haunted house every day for a year than speak for 10 minutes! 

So naturally, teaching is an appropriate career plan, right? 

I’ve been fine with that choice so far. Sitting behind my computer at 5 in the morning, or midnight depending on which night you find me… was fine. Theories and methods, writing about teaching, talking about teaching hasn’t bothered me in the least. But, last week I turned in my application for student teaching, which means Shit just got real! 

I’ve been nauseas since I turned it in. I’ll probably spend the next 3 months in a constant state of panic. Right now, I’m wondering what the hell I was thinking.  

Just call me Idiot Jed, glutton for punishment (random buffy reference) 

But I chose this path because I’m tired of being afraid. I’ve wasted so many years saying I can’t do this because:  

So, I’m going to start doing things because I can. Because deep down, under this gut wrenching fear of failure, I know… I really do… that I ‘m pretty kickass.  

I believe that I’ll be a great teacher, that I can genuinely help students be better readers, better writers. I know that fear can only be conquered when it is faced. I know that eventually getting up in front of people will be a cake walk. Eventually, public speaking and I will be good friends. I’m going to be ok with it.  

But I will never be ok with clowns.


Sarah said...

You go girl! You can do it! And you are right, you will be great at it!

Crystal Phares said...

You will be an AMAZING teacher!