Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.
-Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome
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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
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
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.