I apologize to any audience I might have for taking so long to bring an update forward. I’ll admit that I’ve been feeling rather uninspired towards journalistic inquiries lately. I’ve been delving into my creative processes more than usual and perhaps spending too much of my energy on reminiscing in emotions that are more destructive than anything for me. (Don’t forget to check these out under La Mondain Mind in the navigation bar above.) A distraction, perhaps, to preoccupy the worries that have been weighing on my short experience in teaching.
Sometimes I look out at the classroom of students before me and my heart falls. They are finding any excuse to not work on the projects I’ve laid forth. They’re playing on their iphones; games or music, youtube. One day a student actually told me, while they refused to work with their group, that I wasn’t there to make them think, I was there to entertain them. More games, they said, less writing, less projects that forced them to be creative. They weren’t creative. I was shocked. I didn’t know how to respond. I came to a place so far away from my home in order to reach a new generation. I came to inspire them, to push them to become an active part in our global community. I came to give them the power to make their lives their own. Now they’re telling me to my face that they don’t want to be a part of this.
Where is the power in being young, being a teenager, but to fiercely attempt to discover your importance in this world? How can you do this without passion? Without creativity? Without a certain sense of desperation of the soul? How do you convince a foreign generation of youth that their souls are desperate when they aren’t feeling it? I didn’t quite expect to encounter the same amount of apathy you might find in suburban America in a country so far away. It gives me great sad insight into this supposed global community that I strive so fiercely to be a part of.
What does it mean to be a part of a global community? It means to care about your fellow man simply for the fact that they are your fellow man. Beyond race, religion, tradition, nationality, upbringing, lifestyle, etc. It means when somebody across the world is hurting or being treated unfair, you hurt too, for them. Here, we tread on the idea of relationships. It is difficult to care about people that don’t care about you. Humanity is about the reciprocal nature of care, of love. It’s the idea that we are together. I feel as though I’m always putting all of my care on the line, asking nothing in return. But the line has become so tense with the weight of what I’m giving away.
I want the world for these kids and I want to be the one to give it to them. But the world is not mine to give and I do not have the power to manipulate these little humans into involving themselves in an experience they don’t want to be a part of. And I have to respect this. There should be some sort of understanding that this country, Colombia, has gone through so much in the past century. Perhaps it is not their time to look outwards. Perhaps it is time to be introspective. Perhaps it is time for a simple happiness, to rejoice in the quiet safety. And someday the world will call to them, and they’ll answer only when it is their time to. And all I can do now is foster an acceptance for when this time comes. I will give them reasons to smile and avenues to communicate. I will give them encouragement for their paths, whatever direction they might turn. It cannot be the path I see for them, it must be theirs. This is what I have had trouble accepting. To give up the notion that I know a better way. Because I don’t. I only know my way. And this works for me, so I must trust that their ways work for them. If I can teach them to be kind, to care for themselves and others, this is a sort of victory. Not the passionate revolutionary victory I set forth to conquer. But I didn’t come here to conquer. I came here to participate. I’m still learning how to do this. I’m learning that I didn’t necessarily come here to be a teacher, I came here to be a student, too. And these kids knew that. And so they’ve taken up their occupations with fervor. I should thank them for this.