But, in the meantime, I am trying to be...
- Super Teacher
- Mentor Teacher
- Tenth Grade Clan Leader
- Graduate Student/Teacher Researcher
Yeah, that last one is kicking my butt. Notice I did NOT put the word "super" in front of that part. I am just plain not a super graduate student. I was a really super college student. The ironic thing is... I didn't really think so in college. In fact, I sometimes thought I was a pretty lame excuse for an English major, since I BSed my way through quite a few papers, selectively chose not to read texts that did not interest me, and pretty much avoided any text I felt was too difficult. There was a critical theories class I would have totally failed if it wasn't for a rag tag Starbucks study group that taught me just enough to survive.
In a recommendation letter a professor once wrote for me, she stated that I had "superb writing skills and knowledge of composition, rhetoric theory, and pedagogy. She is an adept reader of literature, as well as able to communicate her knowledge to others." I remember wondering if I had somehow tricked her into actually believing these things or if she just had enough pity on my state of unemployment to flatter me with such a beautiful letter. I am now starting to believe that these things were, perhaps, true. As I see that not everyone has the in depth understanding of literature and rhetoric that I do, I am starting to see that the difference between a character trait and an emotion are maybe not quite so obvious as I initially thought them to be....
So... within the next couple of weeks, I do need to design a research proposal for my Masters program. This feels like such a monumental milestone. I feel like once I am able to commit solidly to a research project, and have a plan for actually carrying it out, I will be able to move confidently forward, but as of right now, I am feeling timid and insecure. Given that these are traits I would typically never use to describe myself, I do not feel comfortable embodying them for long. I am going to need to do whatever processing it takes to get past this state, and quickly.
I am thinking of basing my master's research around Shawn Achor's theories presented in The Happiness Advantage. He proposes that people in general are more successful if they...
- List things they are grateful for regularly
- Write in a journal
- Practice acts of kindness
I am thinking about playing these out in my English classes and seeing if students become more successful overall. I think they will.. it is just figuring out how to track it.