I like to brag that I am a life long learner. Quick brain, voracious reader, lover of tangents and pushing the edges. Absorbing, reflecting, re-thinking. I am all about that, baby.
I confess, it may very well be because I have allowed my profession to consume me. I can say it is my passion, and my calling. It would be true, but what if. What if I am just so immersed in my little world I fail to see outside it? What if by immersing oneself in a singular, though multi-faceted, passion is a tiny bit of a cop out.
Because I fear that I hit the wall this summer. I was put into a very simple setting where my Arrogance tip-toed up, and whispered in my ear, “Gonna mess with you a little bit : )”
It changed the way that I look at things. It is easy to be a life long learner if you follow paths that feel unwalked, but that are really just tangents down Comfortzone Lane.
So. A dream? To face facts. To be a real learner. Face the mess, and disappointment, and failure, and find the path back in spite and because of it. 'Cause I can preach it all I like, but in my arrogance, I saw the “easy peasy™, my brain like it stuff” as learning.
Learning is like being in a room where you don’t speak the language. You compensate, you concentrate, you try, you fake it, you get blank looks and helpful feedback. Arrogance winks at you and says “Give up yet?” And you do. Because this is actually hard. And really, when was the last time you learned something hard? Why can’t everyone just speak my language? What do you do when you have lost your voice?
So. A few years ago choosing a guiding word for your school year was a thing. It still is. It is a good thing. I chose words like Trust. Relationships. Listen.
This year my word was going to be Arrogance. It has smiled at me a few too many times in the past few months to ignore. But maybe my word is Language.
Language connects and divides. It enlightens and excludes. It can be confusing and delightful. Language can take your voice and give it back.
My littlest life-long learners are coming to a time in their lives where the big people are speaking a different language. School. Oh, we all speak English, but I can imagine there is a Charlie Brown “Mmwaa Mwaaa” going on for sure. I can’t dummy it down. Speaking slowly will not help. It won’t magically make sense if everyone just tries hard enough.
So. Time to honour the language of children. So that they never lose their voice. Because if someone is not speaking my language, it is time I learned theirs.