Arianna's Blog

Come listen to the ramblings and assorted babblings of a crazed mother and newbie author. It might not always be helpful, but it should be amusing.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Maturity

As some of you know, I teach teenagers. I work in a school that's called "adult ed" but in reality it's for kids who have either dropped out or have been kicked out of high school. They earn a high school diploma, not a GED, and each have their own individualized programs that I help them go through. On any given night I could be helping students learn Algebra, Geometry, English, History, or Science. It's very challenging and I love it. Because students only get credit for work they turn in, it takes a lot of the power struggles out of the usual school dynamic. See, if a student doesn't want to work, they can leave. There's no penalty for leaving early, you just don't progress. We're there if they need us, but it's up to them to do the work.

This can be a hard lesson for some kids to learn.

If I had a nickle for every time one of my students said to me, "Can't you just GIVE me my diploma?" I wouldn't have to teach any more.

Whenever someone asks me that it always gets me thinking, would I ever have asked a teacher that in school? Was I ever that immature.

The answer is yes and no. Yes, I was very immature well into college, but no, I never would have asked that of a teacher. I don't know if it's the way some people are made or how they're raised, or what someone has told them, but I'm sure you've all met people who feel the world owes them something. Whether it's a high school diploma, a job, a car, a house, or more, they feel that someone should just hand these things over instead of working for them.

In their minds, the world is against them, it's always someone else's fault that they don't have more money, more friends, a better car etc. When they see someone who has these things, their response is jealousy. How come THOSE people got A, B, and C while they are stuck in their dead end lives?

I'll tell you why.

At some point in all our lives we get dumped on. We make mistakes. Something bad happens to us that isn't our fault. That's life, sorry. There are no money back guarantees if things don't turn out like you planned. The difference between people who expect life to give them something and the other people is maturity.

It took me a long time to grow up, but I think the defining moment for me was when I had to own up to my mistakes and take responsibility for them. I had to say, I was wrong and I'd like to fix it. For some people that may be easy, for me it was a big hurdle to overcome. I hated admitting I was wrong. I still don't like it all that much, but I've realized it takes nothing away from me to admit that I'm human with human faults and failings.

By freeing myself from unreasonable expectations I was able to appreciate the blessings God has given me--and there are many--and accept bad things with a little more grace under pressure. At least I hope it has.

Am I completely mature? Not by a long shot, but I'm at a point in my life where I'm willing to work hard for what I want and not expect anyone to hand my life, career, happiness to me on a silver platter.

Now if someone in NY wants to hand me a three book contract, I'll take that on a paper plate. . . hahahahaha

3 Comments:

  • At 10:20 PM, Blogger Kate R said…

    cool essay. thanks.

    my big moment of growing up was when I had to say sorry to a guy who'd gotten really sick. I'd hurt him years earlier and realized I had to get over it myself before I'd be any help to him.

     
  • At 9:31 AM, Blogger Cheyenne McCray said…

    From having met you in person at least 3 times, I can just see you teaching classes in this situation. You would be such a great teacher. I didn't realize you did this!

    Maturity...it's a tough thing. I have a situation that I won't go into, but it's hard. He's had a lot happen to him. It could be worse, but as a teenager it was nearly the end of the world. He can't see past today, can't see a future. It's hard to see someone go through that. And then he feels guilty because he knows others have it worse, and pressure because his parents are both successful. Ok, I guess I did go into it. :-) He does need to push past it, and I just hope that he can see the light at the end of the tunnel and DO IT.

     
  • At 8:44 AM, Blogger Kris Starr said…

    Do you find, Ari, that more and more people nowadays do the whole "gimme, gimme" act? While I haven't done any sort of scientific study on the matter, it seems to me that you see more and more people who are that way nowadays. Refusing to take responsibility for the mistakes they've made, refusing to be proactive versus reactive.
    And kids/teens seem to be more prone to it. I see it nearly every day with my own offspring, whose favorite phrase at the age of four has become "I want that."
    Oop. Before I go off and rant on your blog, I'll just say that I agree with you 110%.
    I have a faded copy of some wise words of wisdom from some former judge (can't remember who, exactly) that I stuck in an old scrapbook. I may just retype it into my Blog (thought briefly of doing that earlier, too).
    Anyway. Hope you guys aren't too snowed in or freezing!!

     

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