“You’d think that after, whatever it is, seven months, things would get easier. They’re nearly gettin’ easy. But it’s still so hard to be up on the stage, I find. The same sections of the set are still as hard. It’s either the spirit’s there, or the spirit’s down the road having a pint.”
-Bono in late 1987 (during the Joshua Tree tour; excerpted From the Sky Down)
Lack of growth and progress scares me. It is the antithesis of going into teaching. I’m here to help! Let’s get to work.
Why am I so keyed up about this? It’s kind of simple.
I don’t want my students to turn out like me.
I didn’t want to take away from the bulk of the post – but I did want to share and clarify my remarks, for those who are interested.
This is specifically following up “10 Things I Think I Think”. You don’t need to have read that piece to understand this one, but it will put this one in the appropriate context. Now that I’ve said that, let me revisit my own past once more.
I spent a lot of my days worried about my students. I called, sent messages. The worst was not knowing and not getting a response. I hated playing the “I’m really worried about you” card, because sometimes I feel like the students wanted to be left alone, but it had to be done at times. And I was amazed at what some of my students opened up about.
I’ve tried, folks. I’ve really tried.
That’s the refrain I keep telling myself over the last 10 or so weeks.
“The average age in our platoon, I’d guess, was nineteen or twenty, and as a consequence things often took on a curiously playful atmosphere, like a sporting event at some exotic reform school. The competition could be lethal, yet there was a childlike exuberance to it all, lots of pranks and horseplay. Like when Azar blew away Ted Lavender’s puppy. ‘What’s everyone so upset about?’ Azar said. ‘I mean, Christ, I’m just a boy.’” –The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien