Sunday Inspiration 4: My Students

Oooh, I never published this last night.  Looks like it's another double blog Monday.  Well, worse things have happened.  I still have limbs.

My drama students in action.
I spend a lot of time with young people.  Teenagers.  Kids.  Meh.  You know "kids nowadays."  They don't listen.  They're impulsive.  They're needy.  They're self-contained.  They can't see other people's needs.  They think they're the first people to ever be young and that life is an experience unique to them.  They're a pain in the tuchus...and I love them.

My students are awesome.  To some degree, I feel about my students the way that most parents feel about their own kids.  I think they're great, and I don't see their faults.  No.  That's not it.  I spend half of my life trying to figure out how to tell a kid they're doing something dumb without making them cry.  It's more that I love them because of their ability to act in the face of their flaws.  These kids are a big old mess of hormones and pressure and ambition and sloth.  But they still charge ahead.  They still figure it out.  Which I guess is the same thing as saying that I love them for their humanity, which is newly developed and innocent.

To spend time with people who are closer to the beginning of their journey than I am is reassuring.  It allows me to consider my own journey, to remember the stage of my life when I still believed that everything was in front of me, and to reclaim some of what I might have left behind along the way.

My students also need me to be a certain version of myself.  By nature I am not organized or time efficient, but to make the things that need to happen for my students to succeed, I have to be those things.  They bring out the best in me.  Of course, they also frustrate me to no end, but this isn't called "Sunday Frustrations," so we'll chalk that up to a natural side effect of human development.

Going along with the idea that my students bring out the best in me, that trickles into my art too.  My kids not only want to see my work, they need that.  They need to see that the guy at the front of the room harping on them to put their all into a project does the same thing.  They need to know that I can put my money where my mouth is.  They need me to authenticate what I'm saying.

So on those days when I'm tired and cranky and I don't want to do anything but watch the most recent season of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix, it's good to know that someone out there needs me to keep painting.  Otherwise, I'd probably just lay there.


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