Sunday December 19th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today: the teacher.

The last door is up (and even has its first coat of paint), the baseboards are installed in the living room, and the two exterior doors have trim around them. So that's it for renovations for the next week or so. 

We'd have done more but we had to stop early since...


So, somehow or another, I was convinced to help teach a class at Kat's yoga studio this afternoon. Still not sure how that happened.

It was a brand new class, created by Kat and one of her students, who happens to be very into art. They wanted to do a class that brought together restorative yoga, art, and music. They were getting together a week and a half ago to do a run through and I volunteered to be their guinea pig and to help them figure out the drumming portion.

At some point during that practice session it was decided that I would be better at teaching the music parts since I've taken some drumming classes and neither of them were very comfortable doing it. I took some time to think it over and eventually decided to do it.

For the record, I'm reasonably certain I've never taught anything in my entire life. Not on such a 'official' scale at any rate. And I've never had any interest in doing so.

Anyway, today was the introductory class and it went really well. Admission was by donation to the food bank, but we're starting a proper series that people have to pay for in the new year. Hopefully enough people enjoyed it today that they'll sign up for the classes in January.

At which point I would actually get paid for teaching.

So. Strange.


Greg said...

Congratulations! It doesn't seem all that long ago that you were telling us about your drumming classes, and now you're not only getting to practise, but you're putting it to good (and possibly profitable) use! There's definitely pleasure to be derived from teaching when you can see people taking away the lessons you've delivered and appreciating them :)
[Oh, and I still love these editorials of yours.]

The teacher
There's a huge gulf between teaching students who seem disinterested and students who, for whatever reason, are really keen to learn. My maths students seemed to have only one or two each class who actually looked interested -- the rest were turning up hoping for answers they could copy down and take to the exam. I accepted that most people aren't in education because they want to be (at least, not at age 18) but because it's expected, or easier than finding a job, or because they've been told "this is what people like you do."
Then I got asked to teach a group of engineers for a couple of weeks. They were actually really, really keen to learn the material, because it allowed them to do what they enjoyed doing. They were generally a little older (mid-20s) which might have helped, and they were incredibly good at converting the abstract into the concrete. I'd explain how a Fourier Series broke things down into sine waves, and they'd add them back up into square waves and saw-toothed waves in their heads.
So I had to get them to teach me how to do that trick!
The real difference came when the official classes finished and they asked me to carry on teaching them for the remaining weeks of term. That humbled me.

Zhongming said...

I’m really tired today. So I’m going to bed early today. Anyway I’ve wrote something earlier on from one minute writer’s prompt (old one though).

Here it is: Forward/Backward

Zhongming said...

Ah, managed to find time to write.


The Teacher

He swore to forsake his life in order to succored the entire human realm and the world beyond heaven and hell. It doesn't matter if you're christian, hindu or from any other special religion because that does matter at all. That is because he knows that there is no religion to begin with. An analogy he often use: If you're the only person alive in this world, what is good and bad? There is no differences to begin with. So why is it that worldly being have differences? That is because all beings in worldly world have their own karma from past life and when time is ripped, it shall reveal the fruit of it. 

I remember about a quote from Holiness Dalai Lama: "My religion is all about kindness and compassion". I think he is really noble to pass on such teachings but i understand that it is not easy to transform the original habitual seed within people.

I know about a story which is about a scorpion trying to spare the life of a person who is trying to cross a bridge, shaky one though. This passerby happens to be on the edge and is about to fall over the cliff. Then meanwhile he have to face the danger of the upcoming scorpion who simply love to poison others and that is the habitual seed of scorpion since the day she was born. So this man begged that she spare his life. To my surprise, miss scorpion actually agreed to spare his life. She even offer to bring the man across the bridge. Which is rare. Then when the escort is almost done. Out of a sudden, the scorpion did it again with her poison on him. So this man who is about to die, ask her "why did you break your promise? Didn't we have an agreement earlier on, that you'll spare my life?" and I guess you know the rest :)

summerfield said...

my story is long so i won't post it here. but you can read it here

Heather said...

I'm so tired I am not up to actually "writing". But, I'd feel too guilty for just skipping out of it again so I have decided to just respond.

I love teaching, but I find that being the teacher more often than not places me squarely in the role of student. The actual student I am working with makes little difference. At some point in our relationship, we switch roles. I look forward to my next lesson, but I suppose I should finish the one I am learning now first.

Marc said...

Greg - that's very cool, and it definitely sounds like it was a rewarding experience. Thanks for sharing that :)

Zhongming - I've always been very fond of that quote from the Dalai Lama. And I've heard a variation of that story before about the scorpion, but I can't remember where at the moment.

Summerfield - I shall be over momentarily!

Heather - responding is a very good alternative to writing :)

I liked your final line, as it just seemed to resonate with me.