No. I’m not bipolar. But I am happier in the last few days.
Not bipolar, but creative, and so I swing from black to bright by nature, with all shades of grey and beige in between. Can I put my finger on the current happy? Because, seriously, nothings changed at work.
I guess it’s the business of separating myself from the nonsense, being less emotionally involved in it. Letting it go and saying "I can only do what I can do, so I’ll do that well… and for now I’m letting God take care of the rest." It certainly rests easier in my soul to be less angry, and I’ll speak up when I believe I’ll get heard but in the meantime it’s ‘cover my ass and get on with the job’… we’ll see how it goes…
I told you I’m tutoring/lecturing at college right? Actually that’s one of the things at the office that’s keeping me sane… I LOVE it. Part of the love is having the respect of my students, I’ve earned it in the last few weeks, putting the time in, giving them the info they need, doing my homework, and because of that they keep showing up to class, and furthermore they actually listened when I flat out gave them the hard word on Thursday.
You know what, I think that’s a big part of the happy. The teaching I’m doing. And the reason it makes me so happy is that I’m respected, by both the students and the faculty of actually having something valuable to offer. It may be that the wider organisation considers me valuable, but the vibe I’ve been getting is that I’m completely invisible, whether they mean to give that vibe off or not. (So thanks PIA for the gig, it means more than you knew!)
Anyway, on Thursday I’ve got 5 kids sitting round the table (ok, so they’re not kids really… but I am old enough to be a parent to at least 3 of them…) and we’re talking about assignments, and college and effort and I realised I could really make a difference, so I told them things some real truths and hard things along the lines of…
"You may well be marking time doing this degree just to get a piece of paper, skating through the assignments on ability, but why not make the most of HAVING to be here by improving the quality of the degree you get, you’ll get a whole lot more out of your time and you’ll be a much better employee at the other end…"
"Slow down, read it to me again, no. Slow.Down. What’s the question they’re asking of you. No, I won’t give you the answer, slow down, you can do this, read it again. What’s the question? YES! RIGHT… see? You can do this if you just SLOW.DOWN!"
"it’s true, things may not be as orgnaised or as structured as you’d like. Seriously, but the only thing you have the power to change is how you react. You’re a degree student, not at school any more… the information you need is available you just have to work harder to get it. And if you’re not finding it, ask! But watch how you ask, because if you go to the Dean angry and combative they’ll only react to your demeanour… go humble, you’ll get a lot further… (anyone see where I learned this???)"
The cool thing was that in the last situation the Dean came to me and told me of the dramatic change in that particular student’s manner when he came looking for his answers the next day… talk about having an impact!
The truth is, in this studying lark I’m not there to blow smoke and tell them they’re fabulous. The ARE but I think because the part of a wider group who aren’t doing the degree program, even as degree students they hold back and operate at VET level (vocational education and training) like their peers… Not good enough for me… no sir! It felt really good to be listened to, to be respected and today I’ll be marking their first lot of assignments. Next week I’ll be marking the ones that came AFTER the chastening… I’m looking foward to seeing if there’s a difference.
So, yeah, I think that’s the root of the problem. I’m dealing with a whole bunch of people who want stuff from me and are prepared, all the time, to go over my head to get it. They have no interest in my experience or expertise, nor any trust that I even have experience or expertise in my field and so I feel like I’m caught as an uncool, unhip oldster between a whole generation of kids who think they know better and a bunch of boomers who appear to feel the need that, for whatever reason, they ought to give the kids everything they want. So there I am, keeping the status quo in some areas, yielding repeatedly in others against my better judgement ,and all the time feeling as though I’m a tool for empowering unnecessary expense and decadence, all for the sake of an aesthetic with very little substance.
Talk about invisible.
THIS is why Thursday was so powerful. The students are no less Gen Y than any of the others I’m talking about, but because I have their respect they actually listened to me and it did some good, probably even more good for me than them.
Too bad I only have them 1 hour a week…