Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Why i will never be Teacher's Pet.

Yesterday after a lovely weekend, i walked into pain class, the Room of Positivity. i saw the tripod and camera set up to video our weekly progress to be shown at the Friday friends and family meeting. Immediately i did what i normally do when faced with a camera: "oh no! Taping!"

"We don't say that--" the nurse said sweetly in a passing comment sort of way.

Damn! "Right--too negative--" i said, trying to step out of my pile of verbal chewing gum on the floor, trying to think how to move on. Of course, i do this by continuing to talk (poor choice.)

As we start pulling our chairs into a circle for the morning meditation, i say, "Looks like we're missing a couple of people."

"That's focusing on group-care, rather than self-care. We're trying to learn to focus on ourselves in this class--" the nurse points out.

"Oh, really? Didn't realize that," i said. Damn! Again!

Somehow within the first 4 minutes of the Monday morning class, i had stepped from the pile of verbal gum only to stumble into the larger pile of elephant poo behind me.

i always intend to remain quiet after those moments, but i never seem to be able to. i mean, i cannot possibly be asked to live in silence for 4 whole hours, but i can't stay out of the quagmire for 4 minutes.

And then, come Tuesday. We have three newbies. One is a very fit looking woman in stylish Victoria Secret yoga pants and an adorable short sweatshirt with a pink dotted lining in the hood over a casually stylish long tank. i look down at my hugely oversized gray sweatshirt and Walmart sweats. The second is a woman of indeterminant age in a pink high necked sweater and pink pants, who seems determined to meet nobody's eyes, seemingly wishing the rest of us were not there. She wears some jingly something on her wrist or somewhere, adding an annoying punctuation to all her moves (even during meditation. Why does she need to move so much during meditation??) It was bad enough for one day, i'm seriously hoping she loses it on whatever deserted island she wishes she were on.

The third is a mid-twenties guy who was totally pleasant and friendly, wearing an Umbrella Corporation t-shirt. For those of you without video game crazy 20 year old sons, that's the symbol used in the Resident Evil games and movies. At lunch i mentioned to him that my son would be tearing it off his back if he were there. When one of the nurses asked what it was about and we answered, she said, "You'll have to leave that word out, we can't use that word--" Evil. She was talking about the word evil. Okay then.

These are some of the things that baffle me. Stuff like my "oopsies" yesterday--we clap for ourselves as a class when we do some things, we clap for the graduating class students. And yet observing we are missing some of those members is a negative thing. And "evil" as a word is apparently banned. So, if a word can carry a negative connotation it is not allowed, we will have to develop some sort of code when discussing movies we've seen etc. i think i shall start a list of words that could be questionable, and start working them into positive comments, just to use at lunch and test the waters. Possibly i will stay awake better.

It looks like i am being somewhat negative about a class that is overall a positive experience. There are good things, a lot of them. i am being much too analytical, and unwilling to simply accept the edicts from above. i want to understand them, or even better, i want them to make sense.

i'll work on writing something more positive tomorrow. "Why i WILL be a winning student!" or some such thing. But tomorrow. Tonight my thinker is too tired, and terribly disappointed about the whole Teacher's Pet thing.


MsCatMinder said...

Julia you write so brilliantly !
I think all of this might ( I add might carefully ... ) have been ok if all of it had been explained to you before you started the class ... but to correct you after you make "mistake" on mistake is to set you up to feel the " bad child " surely ? You would have to be very adult indeed not to start reacting against this .
Also dont you need to buy into the rules of a class ... eg no negatives or whatever ... ? I dont get it .
But I love the way you tell it and that you stay poitive and get the best from it.

limbolady said...

I think it's that whole "you can't say anything right so don't say anything at all" from our childhood that this makes me think of. Being corrected about what you say as an adult? It's just insulting and needlessly shaming, I think. And I hope you have enough nerve to tell Jingly Lady to un-jingle herself this week!

equichick8 said...

I am so glad I'm not in that class with you. I would have walked out a week ago!
Not being able to say the word evil? What a complete joke! Okay, okay... I'll simmer down. I have been potty training a toddler all day, so that's my excuse.

But really, the fact that you stick with it at all impresses me. I guess if the meditation is relaxing and you are learning good techniques it's worth it. I feel for ya though, not being able to say the right thing... that's like uber-putting-foot-in-mouth in a place like that. No wonder you felt like you stumbled into a pile of elephant poo.

When are you done again? I miss seeing you...

julia said...

Miss Kitty, thanks for the complement on the writing ;-) The whole "what's positive/what's negative" is a seemingly unpredictable pile of something--i think when they said the focus on the positive for lunchtime conversation, i expected it to make a bit more sense. And i finally see that i can take away the good, and let them keep the whole pile that doesn't make sense for someone ELSE to step in.

PleaseDoTheLimbolady, yup, it does feel just like that alright! i have chosen to go from there to "i'm just gonna talk anyway." Jingle lady has warmed up--she has 3 adorable little girls who go to Palomares Elementary! they came to the "friends and family meeting" today. and she still was wearing the bracelet, but somehow she kept it quieter, thankfully...

ChickyPoo--it has been a tough call some days getting myself to show up...but so far, so good--one week to go!!! wooohooo!! i'm done next week friday...