These chapters spoke to me deeply. The matter at hand made me reflect so far into me that I was afraid I would not return. What I found was a mountain of memories that made me who I am today.
I love how the conductor/musician analogy to the hierarchies of life. Too often I find that the leaders teachers hope to empower are not being taught (mainly through example) of what a true leader is. Leaders have power. Someone who can accumulate power often demonstrates leadership qualities. But this does not mean that person is a true leader. The line "true power derives from [the] ability to make other people powerful", is what makes a true leader. Leaders exemplify this day in and day out unconsciously, naturally. The next question would be: How do we teach something that is done unconsciously and a natural part of our everyday behavior? The answer, be aware of who you are. Recognize your failings, and curb them to benefit others. Recognize your talents and share them with the world when called upon to use them. As the one musician stated so wonderfully, "I haven't had a single dull moment in a rehearsal, as I sit wondering what I would say to the orchestra should I suddenly be called upon to lead." Can we say the same about our lives? Have I had not a single dull moment in my life, as I sit wondering what I would say to my audience should I suddenly be called upon to lead? The silent conductor; one that leads by being able to follow.
For chapter 6, all I could think about was the movie Singing in the Rain with Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O'Connor. One scene Donald O'Connor's character is trying uplift the spirits of his best friend Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly). He performs a song and dance routine to the melody of Cole Porter's Be A Clown, memorably renaming it to Make 'Em Laugh. I saw the movie before I could go to school and noticed my mother laughing and having a good time watching that particular scene. At that moment, I wanted to be able to make people laugh and appreciate a good time while in my presence. To this day, that mentality is part of my everyday nature.
Here is the scene and have the best ____ ever!
So what could I say about chapters 7 and 8? After reading through the chapters, I looked back at the study questions by Diane Wright and think: so true, so true. The chapters were so intertwined that I couldn't do my usual read/reflect then write. So here I am breaking my OCD of organization to fit the needs of my reflections.
Quite a few of my close friends can see my pessimistic side and know that part of me very well. I don't often show it because that is not the kind of person that I want everyone to see my as. I want to exemplify the good, and unfortunately too often I bottle up the bad rather than use it to my advantage. Just to let you in on some of my personal battles within myself, I often give way to frustration and disappointment to the point where no passion, no drive, and no ambitions are the only ways to think. And, I settle upon that mentality because of the hurt that happens too much. Just like June back in chapter 6, I begin to feel as though the world in not going to change. No matter my efforts, no matter my drive and enthusiasm, the people in this world are so stuck in their holes not to see the enormous amount of possibilities and potential available to them - possibilities that could even better their state of life. Just yesterday, a few of the teachers and I were venting about how we have administrators that seem to give up on us. They don't seem to care about the well being of all the teachers. There are definite favorites and the school could be so much more if things were different. We know type of behavior happens everywhere and many of us are short-tempered at the closing of another year. But what more can we do to help make a change? Our solution, for now, is to settle. We know we can't change administration, so what change can make in ourselves and our thought process? How can we do what is needed even without the support necessary for success?
I know it seems harsh and without warmth, but when challenged with these questions, I remember the words of a good friend of mine. She said, "Pick up the broken pieces of your shattered life and move on." The way I move on, is to focus on what makes life worth living for me, and that is teaching. I love to teach. And upon being hired as a teacher I was posed the question: we have two openings for which you qualify. Which do you prefer? My response: it doesn't matter what I teach so long as I have the opportunity to teach.