Saturday, August 20, 2005
Yesterday I had two moments that lingered on unpleasantly. Both had to do with being overly defensive, a minor character flaw. When a new teacher asked if the rocking cool posters I had just purchased had any curricular or thematic significance, I replied that they did not, that they were on the walls simply to make the room look good, and then I just had to add that I thought thematic curriculum was often “forced and artificial.” Unnecessary. A simple “no” would have done the job just fine. Later another teacher commented that the books I planned to teach might not be very “fun.”
“These are FUN!” I screeched back.
I think the screeching freaked her out because she quickly responded, “I was just kidding.” Again, unnecessary. Reading about the Chinese Cultural Revolution and the war in Sarajevo might not be considered fun by all readers and I have to accept that, hard as it is to understand.
When defensiveness sets in, it is a signal that I need to back away from the schoolpeople and spend a day with Judy buying clothes in the big city to the north. Wearing the new school clothes, defensiveness in the workplace will be unnecessary.