Musings of an Irish-American

Sometimes I think about stuff, and then I write it here…

Monthly Archives: April 2011

yesterday

I realized today why I loathe physical activity: because I’m terribly out of shape. Before I lose you all because of my diatribe on my lack of physical prowess, I just figured I’d write a bit about my experience today because of how it was so much more than me being winded. I am painfully aware that I only need to look into the mirror to see where the problem lies on being out of shape (this isn’t me saying that I’m not strong enough or muscular enough or whatever), but that the only person who can motivate me to (as my mother says) get my ass into gear is me.

Weather in Indiana right now is pretty terrible, but I managed to go out on a run in between the crazy rain storms (and now tornado warning) around campus a bit. Besides not having any endurance (vicious cycle, eh?), I had a somewhat emotional moment as I ran out by the Intramural Sports fields on my way. The wind was blowing just enough, and I stopped, stood directly in the face of it and took in the view of the green fields and the DePauw Nature Park just behind it. It was a solidifying moment for me…in five weeks (give or take a couple of days) I won’t be here anymore. Although I’m sure you’ve all read enough about me struggling to cope with my life progressing, I just couldn’t believe how much the moment of being outside in the sun, with the wind in my face and the beautiful sight I was looking at was so real. To me, it’s an almost tangible moment in time that I will always be able to refer to and go “what a memory”. It seems like I’m having a lot of those these days, as I keep fighting the current of time to enjoy my time with my dear friends.

A song came up on my iPod as I was running, Yesterday by Atmosphere, which also kind of helped to solidify this moment in my mind. The main chorus of the song says, “Yesterday was that you?/Looked just like you/Strange things my imagination might do/Take a breath, reflect on what we’ve been through/Or am I just going crazy cause I miss you?” What struck me was the line about taking a breath and reflecting; I think it’s something that greatly neglect in our society. We’re always going, doing, reading, listening, tweeting and so on, but when do we stop and reflect? Reflection gives us time to process and enjoy our past at least a little bit, it allows us to see our mistakes and improve, it gives us resolve and persistence. I know I’ll be doing a lot of it in the next few weeks, hoping to solidify a lot more memories of time well spent.

-MJH

the other side of the world

Surprisingly enough, there are only two weeks left in my student teaching experience. It has been harrowing and intense, but I can definitely say I’m a better person for it. One unfortunate thing that has come out of this, however, is the fact that I have become very sure of the fact that teaching isn’t what I see myself doing in the immediate future. I say unfortunate because I thought I was so sure about my future post-DePauw and my experiences have impacted that to the point that I know that, although high school students can be very adept and intuitive, I am not mentally prepared to be responsible for educating them.

Part of it may be because of how much I relate to them personally, which is very much because of how close to them in age I am. Conversely, though, I have found the past few weeks to be extremely bittersweet because of my experiences in the classroom. Unlike most of my DePauw compatriots, I have spent my semester spending every day in the classroom, getting up ridiculously early in the morning and working with students and then coming back to campus utterly exhausted. This is in deep contrast to the collegiate experience (that I dearly miss) of a block schedule that could possibly afford one the fortune of not having class one or two days a week, or not having class until ten or eleven on certain days. It has felt like being in a completely different universe than basically all of my friends. It has also made me terribly aware of how my undergraduate experience is quickly coming to a close, as I wonder if the connections and relationships I have created in my time here will stand the test of time and distance after I graduate. One of the biggest things that terrifies me about college is that I will lose touch with all of those people who have been my support system over the past four years.

I can only hope to successfully complete my student teaching and thoroughly enjoy the rest of my five weeks at DePauw. Now, the incredibly cliche lyrics that inspired the post title, from KT Tunstall:

Can you help me?
Can you let me go
And can you still love me
When you can’t see me anymore

Then the fire fades away
But most of everyday
Is full of tired excuses
But it’s too hard to say
I wish it were simple
But we give up easily
You’re close enough to see that
You’re…. the other side of the world
to me

-MJH