Stepping Stones

Okay, I'm not going to complain about ANOTHER day off, but it is frustrating to have nothing to do!  I'm reduced to doing my homework early . . .

The assignments for my Methods of Teaching English class continue to be interesting ones.  Today's have to do with self-awareness and metacognition, two buzzwords of modern English instruction.  The first one asks you to imagine your life as a series of twelve stepping stones, each one representing an accomplishment or growth.  It's hard to narrow it down to twelve!  I spent several days coming up with these:

  1. I was born. (This one was non-negotiable -- 1980.)

  2. In second grade, my best friend “dumped” me for two other girls. She got them to tell me she didn’t like me anymore.  I was crushed, but I learned that circumstances can change very quickly. (1989)

  3. My friend Bobby told me that I was “a nerd that fits in.” At the time, I was offended; later, I realized he was trying to say that I was well-rounded and adaptable, two things about which I’ve always been proud. (1993)

  4. Desperate for an after-school activity that wasn’t a sport, my best friend Ghillian and I founded The Road to Athens, a literary / philosophical discussion group. There, I felt free to ask challenging, intellectual questions. (1995)

  5. My family converted to the Eastern Orthodox faith. I can hardly imagine my life before this moment.  It has shaped everything about who I am. (1996)

  6. I graduated from high school. Hurling my hat in the air, I felt at once immense joy and immense fear.  “This is really happening,” I thought. (1998)

  7. Later that year, I pinned up for my first critique of many in architecture school.  I was verbally ripped apart. I learned what it was to be virtually unable to succeed at something. (1998)

  8. I got my first paid writing job. It was the beginning of a long line of them, followed by a period of silence, followed by the discovery of a passion.  I had found my voice. (1998 -- it was a big year!)

  9. I spent a summer in Athens while on sabbatical from architecture school.  While I was there, I decided not to go back – and I learned independence, loneliness are two sides of the same coin. (2001)

  10. I got married. Rob and I had spent a year falling in love, but the moment we circled the altar for the last time and the priest smiled and said, “Congratulations,” I knew it was really for eternity.  Scary and wonderful! (2003)

  11. We planted our first garden together. Buying a house was one thing, but this really made the house ours – and it helped us discover a shared love for growing things. (2004)

  12. My first day of school, all over again. It was awful: I had underplanned, the students were terrible and we were all miserable from the heat.  But I came back for another day, and eventually I realized this was where I needed to be. (2005)It's exhausting just reading about it all!  If you have some time today, you should try it.  It's a fun exercise.