October 12th, 2010
give them all you have

maybe if I do stream of consciousness I will get something out here. I always like a kind of writing where one thing leads to another and you never know which direction it is going to head in next.

I’m reading bunch of meta-fiction these days. just finished “Atmospheric Disturbances” by Rivka Galchen, did not love it. bought a copy of “house of leaves” to see what all the fuss is about. don’t know if I will read it cover to cover as I want to sleep at night, but am mining it for ideas.

I very much underestimated the amount of work teaching was going to be. While I am enjoying it immensely, mostly because my students are really great and talented, I find myself spending most of my week preparing for the class. Which would be fine except that I am raising an amazingly bright and energetic two and a half year old (which is the greatest age ever by the way), and writing a new book. how does it all get done, one asks oneself, on a daily basis. one moment at a time.

deep breath.

I have been doing meditation sessions on a nightly basis. it is helping me to feel much more grounded, though I do not know exactly why. must be the intention to pay some much needed attention to the self. yes. that is it.

deep breath.

watched “Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight”. He is just an interesting human. The film is not quite as good as the short adobe documentary, feels a bit “forced”. which is good for you because the short one is free and found on his site. and while you’re there go read his “10 Things I’ve Learned”. It’s very good.

While I am thinking about teaching and how much work it is, I must tell you that while it is challenging in many ways (it forces you to confront “what you know” and how much you don’t know), it is also giving me some kind of new found confidence. not in a way that stems from the ego, but in a way that stems from a love of learning. as a teacher you are always mining the world for content, things you can use in class, things to share, and it creates a kind of bond with the people you are sharing with because you are always excited to bring something to them that you think is interesting or related to what you are teaching. what is somewhat difficult is that while you are in it there is no real gauge for how you are doing. how do you know if you are reaching someone? if you are a good teacher, some of what you are teaching might not sink in for years. I suppose you just give them all you have and release all attachment to outcome. Isn’t that how it is with all important things in your life? Parenting, art, relationships, etc.

Oct 13 2010
11:42 am
Mary writes:

You’re right – it’s about making connections and sharing your enthusiasm as well as your knowledge of your subject area. You’ve introduced me to a lot of things I didn’t even know were out there through your books and blog. Thanks Keri.

Oct 13 2010
3:21 pm
Jennifer writes:

I think you’d be interested in reading what Alfie Kohn has to say about progressive education and about teaching — http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/progressive.htm

Oct 14 2010
12:28 am
Zom G. writes:

A two and a half year old is magnificent. It is my favorite age so far as well! Like any work worth doing, however, parenting this age is as challenging as it is rewarding. If you don’t mind the question, whom do you find as good on parenting as Milton Glaser is on life? I haven’t yet found the voice that speaks to me, other than my own.

Oct 14 2010
8:26 am
claude writes:

I know exactly what you are talking about. sigh. I do have a second child now, which is great – but I have really no idea how to keep going teaching, writing (let alone making art). At the moment parts of it will have to wait.
Preparing for teaching took less time after one or two years, when I got used to the job — this doesn’t mean to repeat yourself, I just simply got more routine in transforming ideas into teaching concepts. I bet your inspiring and doing a great job — I’d love to see you teaching — but Germasny is way too far away! Greetings from Cologne :-)

Oct 16 2010
6:01 pm
Lindsey writes:

Keri, I’m a long-time reader of your blog, but I don’t know if I have ever commented before.

Right now, I’m completing my teaching internship in a 5th grade Florida classroom. I absolutely LOVE your thoughts on teaching in that last paragraph. It’s so true. My mind is CONSTANTLY racing through what else to share with my kids, how to best reach them, how to make them feel loved and valuable. It’s exhausting, but there’s nothing better than their smile and those “I get it!” moments.

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