Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Better than expected

Things went much better than I ever expected at the anti-bullying session I taught this morning at the Stephen Bull Fine Arts Elementary School today. A huge thank you to Ms. Orlando who both invited me there for their program, and for also keeping a pulse on the group and raising her hand to ask pointed questions to help keep me on track with the time. She really helped me to change the aspects of my talk regularly as I was addressing the questions of the students.

As I may have mentioned previously, the little ones cause me terror. Ask me not why, they just do. During the first session with the K-2nd graders, I was sweating bullets. I got the talk going, engaged them, and there were so many hands going up asking questions or telling what bullying is and even offering suggestions what someone could do if someone was being bullied. I was amazed by how attentive they were and by how much they wanted to contribute to the session.

During the ten minutes or so between sessions, Ms. Orlando gave me a couple of suggestions for the older group, and changed her prompts accordingly, an off we went. With this group, I wish I had an hour longer. When I was their age is really when I got picked on (3-5) and it only got worse from there. It was in this group that I got a most unexpected surprise.

After I gave my talk on how to ‘diffuse’ a bullying situation one girl raised her hand and said, “ When someone is being picked on I can say ‘That’s not funny’, grab their arm and walk away.” I can tell you I almost shed a tear at that moment, because a young girl in the fourth or fifth grade taught me a most profound lesson. I had never even considered that simple yet profound act.

To have been schooled by such a young one teaches that our adult minds can get lost in the complexity of a simple situation. At times it takes a young, somewhat uncluttered mind, to remind the adults to see through all the b.s. and get to what is important, just help someone in need. Thank you young lady in the ‘Hello Kitty’ tee.

To all of the teachers out there, all I can say is wow, I don’t know how you do it every day. This was my first time with the young ones, but wow, that was a lot of energy to even attempt to keep on any type of focus. To all teachers out there, I bow to you, your task is both a difficult and under appreciated one.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What a day!!

At the start of my day, I fear I did not have my eye on the clock. I was supposed to meet Lynn to fill out some paperwork before I headed on up to school to get my books. Oh yeah, I am back in school for the first time in twenty something years. So I rescheduled that until I got back from school.

While at school, I got a phone call. For an interview. With an actual person. From a phone interview I had done. Four months ago. In four hours. When I am at school 30 minutes from home. And need to drop off paperwork that still need to be picked up and returned the same day. And remember what the job actually is. And print up copies of the resume.

If I do not get this job, I really do not know what I will do. Well, that is not true. I could shoot a pen of insulin and pass unaware, or I could grab my gun and do it quick (if messy). Sadly, such things are not my way. I can only fantasize about them

With luck, when classes start on Monday, I will be focused enough that the job will drift to the back of the mind. Who knows, if I keep telling myself that I may well work for an hour or two!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Oh the Terror

It is really starting to sink in. Awhile ago I agreed to teach a couple of seminars on Bullying at one of our local schools. I am finding myself getting more nervous and apprehensive as the date slowly approaches.

Now I have done my share of teaching in the past. I’ve taught martial arts to people from sixteen to sixty. I went cross country in 1999 for software replacement and was one of the instructors for all of the sales reps with the new software. So while I may get a bit nervous just before, once I get going I am just fine.

But this one is different. This time it is a Bullying seminar, for children. Grades K-5. Since I am not a kid person, it is starting to sink in. It’s been a long time since I have had stage-fright, so this will be interesting.

I’ve already gone over my presentation with one of the teachers from the school, and as far as she is concerned, it is splendid. She gave me a few notes and some suggestions of things I can throw in at the end, personal recollections from when I was bullied when I was their age, how years later, in-part due to the bullying, how I got into martial arts, and that I have never hit a person (well never hit someone outside of the dojo, lol) despite all of my training.

So while this event has me as nervous as the first time I was four on one in the dojo, I am looking forward to it as well so I can get past this fear in my head. It’s kind of funny that it’s a bunch of knee high kids that is one of my greatest fears.

So as of now, there is only one thing that can make me feel better…Soft Kitty.