I am afraid of leaving that preposition hanging off the edge of that title. “Art Thou” is my little distraction to make it look oh-so-deliberate. But in fact, I’m just a bit afraid of the WordPress grammar police showing up on my little blog doorstep and stating that they have discovered that I am, after all, an impostor.
There have been some lovely, candid videos posted of late by some of my favorite vloggers on YouTube. The topic? Fear–of people not liking your work; of people not liking YOU.
I am a bit older than the demographic that consumes most of these vloggers’ content, but they have made a real difference in my life, regardless. Some of my most stressful, anxiety-ridden moments of the past few years in my profession have been eased by the joy, humor, intellect, and sanity found in the work of John and Hank Green, the Vlogbrothers. Likewise, Brits Charlie McDonnell (our dear friend above) and Alex Day have elevated the atmosphere countless times when I have been tempted to suspect that the convoluted and increasingly crazy-making world of education that I inhabit is the real picture. This happens in the trenches. Thanks to these guys for expanding the picture.
I have been noticing of late that there is, within me, a rising level of anxiety that I am keeping at bay through some healthy and some less-than healthy means. I work harder, do more of what is demanded as a teacher, and my students seem to achieve less, and treat each other worse. I fear that all of my work to get to this place, professionally, will be lost when state test scores decree that I am, officially, “Ineffective.” Enough afraid already.
For what art thou grateful?
I am grateful for my sweet young son who is somehow convinced that I am, in his words, “The best of the best,” which he tells me every day. And my big son who turned me on to all of this YouTube content! I am grateful for the amazing people I work with. I am grateful for the cookies that are cooling in the kitchen. Grateful for the man who feels my wrath if he dares to touch me on a morning when I have the option of sleeping in. Or not. And, yes, I am grateful to these YouTube guys. If I need a pick-me-up, I can always watch Alex Day read Twilight.
Here’s a lovely response to the above video, made by another well-known YouTuber and friend of Charlie’s, Michael Aranda: