May 23, 2013


What happens when you hit those moments of disillusionment . . . when you find out that things are not the way they seem, and that conflict has been simmering under the surface of what you thought were smooth, we-all-like-each-other life and work settings? What happens when you are faced with the harsh reality of all the ways you do not live up to who you’d like to be?
An unpleasant announcement at work this week left me remembering the last similar situation I was faced with. This afternoon I relayed a bit of it to my friend and, as I did so, was surprised to feel the hurt welling up once again. I realized that my inner stress level has risen significantly over the past few days.
I do not do well with disappointment in people. I like to keep my illusions of, like I said, we-all-like-each-other. But the truth, of course, is that this is indeed an illusion. The reality of life is that people disappoint each other. And, most distressingly, the reality is that I disappoint others.
I had an odd moment in the classroom, in which I ended up on the verge of tears as I spoke about the admirable aspects of various countries’ First Ladies. We were talking about government in Social Studies and, as that is one of the subjects in which I have a fair bit of lesson-planning freedom, it was nice to run with my inspiration in that regard. Thankfully, the students seemed as excited about the lesson as I was. As I answered one of the questions that came up, though, I found that the sheer passion it evoked made me choke up as I spoke. I hid the emotion pretty well, I think, but it left me musing on the reasons behind that reaction.
Basically, I think it is a deep-seated yearning for a hero. I want a person—a true flesh-and-blood soul—who inspires me to live up to a legacy of faith and steadfast integrity. I think we all do. The error I run into oftentimes involves placing those in authority over me on such pedestals that there is no room for human failure. Lord grant me the serenity to accept . . . the people I cannot change. Grant me the ability to rest in Your sovereignty. To abide in Your goodness.
On a lighter note, we did a science experiment today that involved trying various tools [chopsticks, a spoon, forceps, pliers, a clothespin] to transport various foods [birdseed, peanuts, raisins, cooked spaghetti noodles, rice] from one plate to another. Each group had to move all the items on their plate and document which tool was best for each food item. The idea was to demonstrate why birds are equipped with the types of beaks they have [different shapes for different food-capturing needs]. I expected them to want to snack on their foods, so had extra of the peanuts and raisins ready for a post-lab treat. I did not expect them to be tempted by day-old cold noodles. So when I caught one group with birdseed-speckled noodles hanging out of their mouths, I had to force composure, fighting laughter as I explained to them that these noodles were not for eating!

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