One of the things that I dislike most about being a teacher is the notion that teachers are unintelligent.
Perhaps it is in the culture of this country and perhaps many other countries that teachers are uncelebrated, underappreciated, unrewarded, etc. It is this public mindset that I would like to abolish. However, I understand that this task is a mammoth that I cannot take on by myself and it will never be something that I can "cure."
Today, I was faced by a parent who assumes that I am a teacher who does not understand her material, a parent who went on to use words that she assumed I would not understand. This insults me so much because this profession has always been something of a pride for me. I chose this profession because I believe that there is something I can do. Perhaps it is part of a megalomania or a Messianic complex I have yet to be cured of. Or perhaps I am one of the few who still holds on to the idea that there is something I can do in this world and this is it.
My intelligence has always been a good crutch for me when it comes to this business but there will always be a person who will underestimate that intelligence. I try to tell myself that i cannot please everyone or even try to explain myself to everyone but I do not want to seem like I have given up on this; thus I keep having these thoughts to reflect upon, "What must I do? How can I tell her that I am not stupid?"
I have installed a small desk lamp beside my computer monitor. I have learned enough from my photographer friends the importance of the quality of light. Distance allowed me to think of these things: how I should look good in front of a video camera, how to put on a nice dress when I have no intention of going out, how important it is to understand different time zones. Distance forced me to learn these things, things I had no prior intention of learning.
It has been eight months. Perhaps it would be eight or eighteen months more. The uncertainty leaves me feeling placeless.
(See, I have lost the important words to describe these things.)
I don't know how to write here anymore. Not like this when I am certain that people will take note of my loneliness. Let me not be defined by it.
I want to learn how to write again.
You know what they say when you don't use a certain part of your brain: it shrinks. I think that's how it is with me right now: a part of my brain has been compressed by the lack of creative exercise.
How do you do this again?
The other day I was reading Nick Hornby's "Polysyllabic Spree" and in the first chapter, Nick Hornby defends the fact that maybe he buys too many books that he understands that he really does not have enough time to read all of them. That's what I feel like right now. I buy so many books. Or, the right statement for it is: I Hoard Too Many Books.
If I pile the uncovered ones, I can build a small tent for a child. If it rains, can she use the words to protect her?
Of all the books I buy, I probably only finish three of five.
Some are left with earmarks reminding me that I have yet to finish the pages. Some are exhaustively complained about, "What the fuck are you talking about?" i ask my books. Some, I have not even opened, save for the name I write on my books when I get them. I have only liked a few books and I have always had this feeling that I read too little or that I do not read enough.
I identify myself as a reader more than as a "writer." I shudder at those people who have such courage to claim themselves such.
P.S. I am writing this excitedly because tomorrow I am going to host a one-woman party of me covering some of my books.
1) JP, my new student, is the new heartthrob in the office. He is the guy from 7-Eleven that everyone is ogling at. I won't notice him most days because I won't need to. But these days of loneliness, I welcome the new faces.
Though this guy merits a story from me because he is interesting. He's 35 years old. Born and bred in the US most his life but studied in De La Salle for college. The office assistant likes him very much. When he walks to the door, I swear I can hear people swoon over him. I hunch my back and continue fantasizing about New Zealand.
2) I welcome the extra hours of work on weekends because it then means that I can take my mind off things. I don't feel too lonely when I talk to students about their lives and school-related problems. Nevermind that I do not really want to relate to so many people just yet.
3) What is distance? Kilometer-measured, 5 hour differences, long distance rates. Distance is just an entity I can deal with. I did not prepare myself for the grief.
4) It's the mornings that are difficult. When all the sadness, anger, denial, confusion rush through me. I cry in the bathroom because I can't form all the words yet.
5) I want to be a wild bird photographer. I want to be able to capture flight.