I frequently read posts from Book Riot and this one hit a nerve for me:
What Counts as Reading by Danika Ellis.
It touches on what I was thinking about when I wrote this blog post a few months ago. I, too, find myself caught up in various stories, but as Ellis seems to understand there are many ways, particularly in today’s media savvy world, to convey those stories. I enjoy reading blogs, listening to NPR stories and interviews, watching Big Bang Theory, and listening to various podcasts and she’s right – they are all stories – some fiction, some non-fiction, and even some genre bending and interactive.
As a teacher, I often fall into the mindset that my greatest value in life is how good I am at what I do. I forget that I am more than my career. I have interests and hobbies well beyond the scope of my job. This mindset is difficult to get out of when your career is often how society views you. What I mean by that is that once people know your occupation, they look at you through a certain lens, “Oh, you’re a doctor!” (He must be a health nut! Don’t eat those fries in front of him; he’ll judge you for all your unhealthy choices. OR He must have money; I bet his house is huge!) Occupation is often the first thing we ask when we meet someone new. “I work in construction. What do you do?” It’s part of how we size others up.
–I know, this is terrible, but it is true. —
Sometimes I just need a reminder that I am more than a teacher. I’m a wife. I’m a writer, poet, and storyteller. I’m interested in nature and biology (even though I teach English) and I’m an animal lover. I love finding new places in my local area that inspire me to write, think, and create. I am a huge fan of comics and graphic novels. I am a fan of live music and have learned to play several instruments (with varying degrees of success) throughout my lifetime. I like watching football and baseball. I enjoy playing tennis, going mini-golfing, playing pool and skeeball at the arcade. I love going to fairs and carnivals. I love going to the beach, but I don’t actually like the beach…give me a boardwalk and a good view of the ocean and I’m happy. I don’t need to touch the water or the sand.
This is who I am. I am more than a teacher. I’m a simple and complex human being with hopes and desires and dreams well beyond my classroom. My greatest value is not in what I do, but that I am. I’m me. The whole package.