Friday, July 08, 2005

10 days

It is a frightening epiphany to realize the disconnect between what people think you know and what you actually know.

When I came home from the hospital in September, I remember thinking that I had no clue how to take care of this tiny person we'd named Laura. I mean, besides the mountain of books I'd read, the advice a dozen nurses had given me, and my mother en route to relive her own adventures in baby-care, I had no clue.

I had much the same feeling when I began teaching. A friend finishing up med school now and another in his first job at a law firm tell me they feel likewise. Even more disturbing than facing my own ignorance, is the realization that my own parents, teachers, doctors, and lawyers (ok, so I don't have a lawyer) were also learning as they go.

These are all very bright people, don't get me wrong. I'd rather have a doctor who knows how to intelligently go about solving problems than one who's memorized a few solutions to a few well-known problems. That's what we're taught to teach, too--critical thinking and all that jazz. Knowing how to question is more valuable than simply knowing what the answer is.

But the irony is almost unbearable. In ten days, I leave my child with someone licensed in childcare. In ten days, I begin teaching The Outsiders to children who know a lot more than me about gangs and outsiders.

Are we capable? Yes. Am I skeptical? Very.

Good bye, maternity leave. It's been fun.


Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

It's scary when we realize that nearly everyone in the world is pretty much making it up as they go along.

John Cleese: Penguins don't come from next door, they come from the Antarctic

Graham Chapman: Burma!

Cleese: Why did you say Burma?

Chapman: I panicked.

Cleese: Oh. Perhaps it's from the zoo.

Chapman: Which zoo?

Cleese: How should I know which zoo? I'm not Doctor bloody Bernowski.

Chapman: How does Doctor Bernowski know which zoo it came from?

Cleese: He knows everything.

Chapman: Oooh, I wouldn't like that, that'd take all the mystery out of life.

So just be glad you're not Doctor Bernowski (or Doctor Phil, for that matter), and enjoy the penguin on your television set. Just remember that when he explodes, you're the one who'll have to clean him up.


9:59 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

I feel for you leaving your child at home so soon. I know how frightening it is-and howt they are on your thoughts at all times-in the beginning you call constantly, then somehow you get through the day with once or twice! In my case I was also getting calls- my sons had asthma from early on so it was the ER 2 or 3 times a week-and the fun was just beginning...but that is another story. It stinks that we have to be in a position to leave our children home. but some how, some way it works out- so hang in there 'Mommy' my best to you- Priorities/Lee

9:02 PM  

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