Monday, July 13, 2009

The good old days...

I miss the good old days. When I was in university I would work nights in a high school gym, cleaning up after bingo. My shift would begin at 10pm. It would be over at 2am. I loved it.

It was one of the best jobs I ever had because even though my body was occupied my mind was free.

I would finish classes in the day, begin my readings, do my homework, and then go to work at 10pm. I would start work with two-fifths of an essay written and finish work with four-fifths. I would then return home, pour my new ideas into the keyboard as quickly as I could, and then craft a careful, unifying conclusion. I’d then go to sleep for an hour or two and catch the bus to UBC at 7:15am.

The best part of being a janitor during my university years was that there was the most work during my holidays. Summer was renovation time (painting, moving lockers, etc.). Christmas holidays were for waxing floors. The beauty of it was that I was needed most when I was most available.

Like I said, I loved my job as a janitor. The beauty of physical work was that I could reflect while I mindlessly move chairs and tables, mopped, and vacuumed. By the time my shift was done, my problems also were gone (or at least I had an approach to solving them). This eventually extended to girl problems, parent problems, friend problems, etc.

When I began working as a teacher things changed. Intellectual work can be all consuming. No longer did I have an opportunity to reflect about things I wanted to at work. I had to think about things that I was paid to think about.

I reflect at every opportunity, but I don’t blog. I blog only when I must. First and foremost, I’m very private. Secondly, there isn’t a lot of time between full-time work, family, and grad school for formal blogging.

All this said, blogging (because I must in this case) is a nice return for me to the good old days of focused, dedicated reflection. Not such a bad thing after all.


  1. A personal blog can be a place to keep track of ideas you encounter in your doctoral study, to make sense of new ideas and topics as they are encountered, and to document your learning as you experience the program. It can be very academic and scholarly, or more personal -- that is the individual's choice.

  2. Peter,

    I can relate to the feelings you expressed in your blog. I think the big thing with teaching, especially in the K-12 sector, is that you are paid to teach and think about specific things. Any sort of diversion from the traditional ways of instruction are not typically met with open arms. It might be a little different in your province and in a private school. The big thing with K-12 education is that when technology is implemented it must be shown to produce 'at least' the same level of performance or results for students. When money and funding are considered, technology must be shown to be far superior. Forget the fact that students might be learning things outside of the content that is being delivered.

  3. I enjoyed getting a glimpse into how you will justify the effort you will put into blogging.. until you spoke of the process of "formal blogging". I think that the best part of your first post was your informal nature of documenting though. Your personal, informal thought.
    I look forward to tuning into your process of grappling with definitions, school policy and a shift that will likely occur as we "get it done".