Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Internal Battle: The Written Word

 I feel like I’ve had an internal battle ever since I can remember; the battle to express myself clearly, yet still remain true to how I feel.  Anyone who is creative can most likely relate to this feeling of war within, and, if you don’t consider yourself creative yet experience this struggle, you might be more creative than you give yourself credit for.  This is some insight to my battle with the written word.

I’ve always been a rule follower, and as I grow older, the more rules I learn.  I remember the freedom I found in writing when I was in High School.  I had a teacher who cared more about imagery and figurative language than content, which allowed me to focus less on what I was saying and more on how I was saying what ever it was that I thought.  I can also say that while I was in High School I had a poor grasp of grammar, graduating without a clear idea of what a preposition actually was.  As I gained a grip on the English language in a Linguistics class I took in college, I felt like I experienced a revelation.  Now that I understood the rules of the English language, I suddenly felt freedom to use it as a form of expression.  Also, my desire to read grew which resulted in me making a New Year’s Resolution to read through many of the classics I was never assigned in school.  My problem began when I started teaching English.

As a teacher, your job is to be the master of your subject and impart your knowledge to your students.  As a teacher I feel a huge weight of responsibility in this task of impartation.  For me, this weight has always challenged me to dig deeper into my subject and myself.  I literally cannot put into words the sense of responsibility I feel for each young mind that has been entrusted to me.  In turn, I am reminded of my own mind that God has entrusted to me.  Thus, by teaching others, I teach myself. 

I feel gifted to be a person who can teach both Math and English, a rare commodity, so I’m told.  When I teach English, I try to think about how students that love Math (left brained) might interpret what I’m saying.  When I teach Math, I do the opposite by trying to explain things in a way that would appeal to those who are more right brained.  By doing this, I’ve reduced English (formerly a creative way I would express myself) into mere logic and rules.  If you ask me how to write an essay, I will talk to you about a thesis statement, topic sentences, supporting evidence, and a conclusion.  I can school you in quotation and comma rules, and I can break down parts of speech.  But, what I have found in doing this is that I have lost my ability to just write.  Now when I write, I am so consumed with my comma placement to ensure that what I am saying will not be misinterpreted, that I miss what I am saying and, more importantly, why I am saying it to begin with.

So, with that said, with every attempt to blog, know this, I am conquering my battle within.  Each post, I shall consider victory, not to say that I will not have a few hiccups here and there.  But, what I am saying is that I will not let this fear, the fear of breaking a rule, deter me from accomplishing my goal… expression.

*Note: I have proof read this post about 5 times.  Ha!  And I’m sure I still missed some mistakes…baby steps.