So, I decided I would start blogging. I do like to write, but I’ve never been sure people would care what I have to say. Lately, I’ve felt the urge more than I have in the past.
One would imagine that my focus would be on photography. I can’t guarantee that. I think I just need to write about whatever moves me at the time. I will tell you for certain that this will be about photography or something related at least half the time, but even though photography is my passion, I don’t ONLY get passionate about photography.
So I may go on about other things. And you may or may not care. My only hope is that each time I put something on my blog that it will serve some purpose.
So here’s a list of possible topics you might read about on my blog:
Food and diet
People, especially teens
Who knows what else?
Today, passion is the topic.
Maybe because I’m a little antisocial, I tend to look at other people as they live their lives. I sort of watch people, like an outsider, to see how they behave. Sometimes I am surprised by people’s behavior, but usually it is easy to conclude two things:
The first thing is that you never know a person until you’ve walked a mile in his or her shoes. This is a theme in the book “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a favorite of mine. When somebody does something that I feel is just not right, I try to tell myself that I can’t understand him/her because I have not worn his or her shoes.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. People sometimes astound me. What comes to mind right now is a student who admitted to me in front of the class this year that he never learned the words to the Pledge of Allegiance because he just never cared to learn it. It’s hard for me to understand that somebody could literally stand up and mumble something every day for 13 years, but not care enough about what he was saying to make some effort to know the words.
My patriotism makes me literally stand at attention for the pledge every day, whether I am alone in my classroom, in the hallway, or in the front of the class. So strong is my desire to set an example and teach young people to appreciate what our country provides them, that I would have it no other way. And I do understand that these students have stood up and mumbled the Pledge every weekday of their lives, but could they not just every once in awhile pause to reflect on what the words really say, as they eye the remnants of their free or reduced breakfast that they picked up on the way to first period, and ready themselves to do as little as possible to take advantage of the free education that is provided them?
The second conclusion is that there are not enough people today who have passion.
To me, passion is a strong feeling in your heart towards something. I easily have one main passion that anyone who knows me knows about. That is photography. I am also passionate about other aspects of what I do, basically the list of topics I might blog about. I LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY! I LOVE to TRAVEL! I LOVE EVERYTHING about YEARBOOK! I LOVE to COOK! I LOVE a well-designed magazine! I could literally shout these things from the rooftops. While skipping and singing.
Reflecting on my life as it is today, I could not imagine my life without these things, even though sometimes these things drive me crazy. (Again, looking at the list, some of the things drive me crazier than others, teens being one of them).
I feel very strongly, passionately, that every person needs to have a passion. What is life without passion?
A few years ago, a colleague and I taught the same subject across the hall from each other. Often, a student would fail her class and then, due to the way the schedule was set up, end up in my class for a second go at earning the credit. While we ate lunch, we often discussed these students. They were simply not passionate about school or English class, but almost all of them were passionate about something. We determined that if we were able to connect with these students through their passion, then they were more likely to pass our classes, hopefully the first time. I remember so many students who had a passion for music, and quite a few, boys especially, who were passionate about cars and fishing.
It was always toughest when there was a challenging student who seemed to have no passion. I remember one of these, a young man. He just seemed so slimy. He was in my class after failing across the hall due to turning in a plagiarized research paper. Instead of learning his lesson, he turned in a plagiarized paper in my class as well. From what I could understand, there was no underlying issue at home to cause this young man to behave in such a sneaky way. In fact, I think his mother might have been a teacher. It was impossible for us to wear his shoes and understand his behavior towards our class and subject.
It was down the hall in a different classroom that I saw this student in a new light. Somehow our principal was able to get Bo Diddley (the REAL Bo Diddley) to come visit our school. As scores of band students assembled in the bandroom to listen to him talk, Diddley first explained what he felt “real music” was as he showed off his handmade guitars. Then Diddley began to jam, and my student, who would not show an inch of personality or passion in my class, got up and joined in! Now granted, there were two who started jammin’ with Diddley, so I don’t know if he would have had the courage to get up there alone. Still, to join such a legend in an impromptu jam session is something that takes a lot of nerve.
I’m sure that student did not earn a point more than was needed to pass my class, but I had a new respect for him once I understood his passion. Years later I ran into him on the Ocala Square on a Friday night. Turns out he was playing at one of the clubs and he invited me to see him. I went in and watched a set. I have long forgotten what instruments he played, but I hope that music is still a part of his life.
And I sincerely hope that any of you out there who have not found or lost your passion in life, please go find it and pursue it. Passion is a requirement in order to lead a happy life.