A Not-so- Creative Rant

Forgive me, but let me drawl out a drama building inside me for a veeeeery long time. Mind you, this is not even the first time, so that means this topic is getting me very depressed probably.

Alright. Breathe…

So it’s been five months since I started with my new work as a teacher. My classes in reading are better, but my work as a writing (creative writing) teacher is not actually going anywhere. To be fair, there was a time when I thought I was going somewhere, but then these days I feel like I’ve hit the insecurity wall again and I’m stuck trying to get out. Suddenly, I can’t find my way to organize my class, and I’m frustrated as ever with the word “creative” in my writing class. I am pressured that my students have to write awesome stories at the end of day. In addition, what a hard act to follow the previous teacher of this subject was!

Despite nobody outright comparing me to his skills, I can’t help but put a pressure on myself. I majored in literature and I like writing, so I should know how to teach writing. That’s not true of course, but as I said, I can’t help but make this as a standard for myself. Especially since I’m teaching the subject, I have to believe that I can do it or else I should just quit this altogether.

To be fair to mysef, I do believe I can do it. The problem is I get so disheartened, distracted, and lazy so easily that I can’t improve well. The progress is stagard, and like my other students, I tend to regress.

Sad stories of adults, I tell you.

Moreover, creativity, I feel, is something I’ve always lacked. I’d only feel creative after being able to write something without being inspired by other writers; when the flow of words came from a bathroom break, a one-liner that popped in my head, an image, or something given by nature and I’m able to pen it down, that is when I feel creative.

In the most unfortunate circumstances, I am experiencing a block, no, I’m stuck behind a wall and whining in front of that wall about why I can’t get myself to write again while I have a job of teaching writing.

(Something tells me I’m part of a tragedy and the chorus is singing these very words I’m forging. Oh the irony of this piece!)

I used to love writing. It was my salvation when I couldn’t get myself to express my anger in words to the world. Writing was my self-imposed therapy which fortunately evolved into loving the craft itself, so I was able to produce proper written works like my own scripts, short-stories, poem, essays, etc. Heck, I even joined the newspaper clubs of my primary and secondary schools. Although I’ve always felt that I lacked something in terms of talent, but I’ve been a devoted writer.

Well, I have been a devoted writer. How tragic the feeling of writing that in the past tense.

With this predicament, how do I survive my classes so far? I prepare activities and that’s it. The goal is to get a class over and done with without shaming myself of my doubts and confusion. In retrospect, I have a feeling that the reason some of my classes are unsuccessful is because the students can also sense my unsureness. I mean, I have very good classes, the ones which are well-prepared. On the other hand, I have classes which I’d want the ground to open up and swallow me whole because of the stress of my students trying to bully me and outright testing my mastery of the subject. I sort of remember kids being able to sense fear from adults well.

In conclusion, I think I have to go back to writing if I want to succeed in teaching writing. Of course this isn’t only for my classes’ sake, but I personally want to go back to writing again. I miss the feeling of the words and inspiration polluting my brain.

When do I want this to happen? Write now! (cue in drums!)

Happy 26th

Guuuuuuh, it’s another year added to my life. Lucky, aren’t I? Of course. Though I frequently say that age is just a number, cliche yes, but of course I can’t relate at times, as well. I thought I felt pretty old when I was 23, and not three years older, I feel much older! I can’t complain too much though, I don’t have a choice anyway.

Nonetheless, things in my life recently have been, well...well.

I’m struggling with my new work, but I’m glad my co-teachers and my boss are all open to communication so I can ask questions and guidance anytime I want. Although, that itself, a good thing, is an issue with me.

You see, I’m pretty much independent with myself. If I can grip the idea of the world by myself, I won’t bother others. However, seeing results takes a long time with this attitude. Soon enough, I’d have to change this aspect of myself and learn to depend more on others if I want to do well in this job faster. After all, the kids are not the one whose giving me pressure, it’s the parents! They can be quite demanding, I feel, if they want to. *sigh*

Anyway, happy 26th birthday to me.

To myself,

Be more patient, more hardworking, and more motivated. Be less insecure, and be less of a procrastinator. You are a good person, and try to be as good as you can be. Things will fall into place soon enough, just hang in there.

 

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YATTA!

うれしいいいいいいい~~~~!

Finally. DEEP SIGH. Finally.

I feel that this is finally it. I may or may not have found a job which may actually turn into a career. I mean, for once I can feel myself staying in this field for a long time if I try hard enough. And I really should try to do my best.

I haven’t started with the job yet and I don’t know what to expect. I probably do not have any expectations yet, which I think is a good thing since I won’t be disappointed and my mind is fresh to accept new knowledge and develop new skills.

Perhaps in these five years that I’ve been denying the possibility that teaching could be the career for me, I’m actually on my way there. Well, hopefully. I didn’t understand how some teachers could stay in the job for over 20 years with the kind of salary they get, especially for public school teachers, but now I think I sort of get it. Although I’m technically a tutor, probably short of what a proper teacher should be (I don’t have teaching units), but there’s something very charming about teaching.

Teaching is a long, often vexing, arduous process of helping a student develop a skill or understand an idea. It is mentally challenging and often emotionally frustrating to get to a point where you and the student notice improvements and progress. Just when you think that you’ve done enough help, the achievement gives you such a rewarding experience not only as a teacher, but also a human that you carry on until the next eureka.

Thus, my five-year love-hate relationship with teaching (ESL).

This time I’d be teaching reading and creative writing to very young kids. I don’t have any classroom experience, let alone a kindergarten class experience, so I hope my co-workers and superiors would be patient enough to guide me all the way, especially since I have a tendency to get confused and overwhelmed in the beginning of new tasks.

I wanted to keep this news a bit of a secret to the world (including my friends) until the next week because I have this suspicion that too good things should be kept in the dark until everything is ironed out so as not to be jinxed, but I just gotta share the good news to some people. And it felt really nice when they I saw how happy they are for me.

LET’S DO THIS! がんばります!

Rather than smiling because things are enjoyable, I always think that if you smile there’s something enjoyable waiting for you.

Masaki Aiba 相葉 雅紀 (ARASHI/ ), Japanese Idol, singer, actor, performer, radio host

 

Hello! How’s life?

This blog has been neglected in the past week, hasn’t it? I’m very sorry about that. I couldn’t even find the time to post daily quotes. I’ve been a bit depressed due to my failed job application which I hoped for greatly from my last post. I’ve been mending the damage through watching a lot of Japanese variety shows of my favorite Japanese idol group, ARASHI (嵐); they have been very helpful, and continuously until I landed on this very touching message from Aiba-kun. Reading this message gives me hope for my unforeseeable future, and it gives me strength to continue smiling.

I am bound for three job interviews in the next few days until Friday. If I don’t land any of these jobs, the possibility of going to Japan next year for a hanami birthday would seem very bleak. I also don’t know what my mental and emotional state would be. I’m not used consistent to rejections. Nonetheless, I’m not setting my expectation too high. I just want to at least feel secured of my financial situation, especially that there’s a lot to fix in our house alone. Anyhow, if time would remain abundant, maybe I can start practicing my Nihongo again. I’m watching a lot of Japanese shows anyway, maybe I should coordinate the situation with my studies.

Anyway, I come back with renewed strength and faith in the future. I’ll try posting more often here again.

Take care, everyone!

EGAD, LET THIS BE IT.

ImageIt turns out that my favorite polaroid speaks volumes of my constant struggle in life: crossroads.

I’ve been away from this blog because, again, I feel detached from the world and I think I’ve let my worries shrink me into a sad child.

Life is confusing me. I will be 26 in a few weeks, but I still don’t know where to go, or what I want in life. I don’t know what to go after. I’m quite okay where I am, but even that small space I have built for myself as my “secret annex” feels is in danger of collapsing any minute. I suppose it’s a knee-jerk reaction to evacuate and find a more stable sanctuary, yes?

Starting over with a new job is a bitch, but nothing compares to the feeling of being lost, the confusion as to why you are where you are, if you should move forward or stay or risk or just try to be content. TRY.

Anyhow, I hope this is finally the light at the end of the tunnel. I want to feel secure at least, the happiness can follow suit.

So…wish me luck. Whoever you are.

がんばります!

Quotes: “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore”

There is no immortality that is not built on friendship and work done with care. All the secrets in the world worth knowing are hiding in plain sight. It takes forty-one seconds to climb a ladder three stories tall. It’s not easy to imagine the year 3012, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. We have new capabilities now–strange powers we’re still getting used to. The mountains are a message from Aldrag the Wyrm-Father. Your life must be an open city, with all sorts of ways to wander in. After that the book will fade, the way all books fade in your mind. But I hope you will remember this: A man walking fast down a dark lonely street. Quick steps and hard breathing, all wonder and need. A bell above a door and the tinkle it makes. A clerk and a ladder and warm golden light, and then: the right book exactly, at exactly the right time.”

“He has the strangest expression on his face- the emotional equivalent of 404 PAGE NOT FOUND.”

“But I kept at it with the help-wanted ads. My standards were sliding swiftly. At first I had insisted I would only work at a company with a mission I believed in. Then I thought maybe it would be fine as long as I was learning something new. After that I decided it just couldn’t be evil. Now I was carefully delineating my personal definition of evil.”

“Some of them are working very hard indeed. “What are they doing?” “My boy!” he said, eyebrows raised. As if nothing could be more obvious. “They are reading!”

“(about Kindles) I have one and I use it most nights. I always imagine the books staring and whispering, Traitor!”

“I’ve never listened to an audiobook before, and I have to say it’s a totally different experience. When you read a book, the story definitely takes place in your head. When you listen, it seems to happen in a little cloud all around it, like a fuzzy knit cap pulled down over your eyes”

Robin SloanMr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore (novel)

 

I just finished this book this afternoon, and I loved it! In the end, the message is simple enough…but you’d have to read the book to find out.

I never expected this book to have a detective-story touch (what was I thinking when I read the synopsis? Probably: “Just buy it!”), but as most mystery novels I have experienced, they are very fun to read, indeed.

I love the fact that the author played with the idea, and possibly the arguments, around how we aquire knowledge nowadays: the traditional way through reading and analyzing texts from physical books, or the ultra-modern way of Googling everything. Nonetheless, there’s no judgment, only a very nice and touching moral lesson.

Give it a go. 🙂